June 29 (UPI) — A new study by the University of Texas is urging children with autism be tested for developmental coordination disorder, or DCD.
DCD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects between 2 percent and 7 percent of school-age children and causes poor balance and coordination.
Children with DCD often have limited or no athletic ability, are more sedentary and are more prone to obesity.
Children with autism spectrum disorder share similar traits found in DCD and the study, published in the June edition of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, suggests autistic children should be tested for it.
“Motor skills are the root of DCD but they are also really important in autism,” Priscila Caçola, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at Arlington, said in a press release. “When autism is diagnosed, motor skills are not the primary concern. But we also found that that there is a lot of co-occurrence of DCD in autism. A lot of individuals may have autism but they are not assessed for DCD. We really need to assess for DCD in children with autism and the earlier the better.”
Researchers found 11 articles showing not only the differences between individuals with ASD and DCD, but that there were also many similarities and overlap even though they are not identical.
The theory that DCD can be present in autism is relatively new and gaining more attention in the medical community, according to Caçola.
“Poor motor skills could be impairing social skills even more,” Caçola said.