Gait patterns in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder.


Previous research has shown that adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) show increased variability of foot placement measures and movement of the centre of mass (CoM) while walking. The current study considered the gait patterns of young and older children with DCD. Fourteen young children with DCD (7-12 years), 15 older children with DCD (12-17 years) and 29 age- and gender-matched typically developing children took part. Children were asked to walk up and down a flat 10-m-long pathway for 1 min, while the movement of their feet and trunk was recorded using motion analysis. The gait pattern of children with DCD was characterised by wider steps, elevated variability in the time spent in double support and stride time and greater medio-lateral velocity and acceleration compared to their peers. An elevated variability in medio-lateral acceleration was also seen in the young but not the older children with DCD. In addition, the young children showed a greater variability in velocity and acceleration in all three directions compared to the older children. The data suggest that the high incidence of trips and falls seen in children with DCD may be due to differences in the control of the CoM.