Strategies to support

General strategies and provision:

  • Develop the child or young person’s core stability. For example, wobble cushion, exercises and games.
  • Ensure correct seating position with appropriately sized table and chairs.
  • Provide support for letter formation e.g. using a multi-sensory handwriting scheme, pencil grips, sloping boards.
  • Provide physical activities to support development of gross motor skills. For example, throwing, catching, hopping.
  • Develop fine motor skills. For example, hand and arm exercises, specialist scissors, pegboard, threading, play dough, pincher grips activities. For example, pegs onto washing line.
  • Provide sequencing and organisational skills. For example, first / next boards, writing frames, visual timetables.
  • Breaking tasks and instructions down into small steps.
  • Regular exercise should also be encouraged.

In addition to the general strategies highlighted above, a child or young person may also need:

  • a programme to develop specific skills, combined with extra help at school
  • additional time for pre-learning and consolidation
  • access to a keyboard
  • additional time or adult support for dressing, undressing
  • access to enhanced motor planning activities. For example, Jump Ahead programme.
  • a task-oriented learning approach
  • task adaptation to make them easier to do. For example, adding special grips to pens to make them easier to hold, or wearing shoes with Velcro fasteners rather than shoelaces to make dressing easier
  • additional adult support, working with the child or young person to identify specific activities that cause difficulties, and finding ways to overcome them
  • additional support for speech and language difficulties such as dyslexia or social communication difficulties.

Intervention packages:

If a child or young person has a diagnosis of DCD, or presents with the characteristics outlined above which resulting in reduced participation in school, then the child may benefit from a referral to the Child Development Centre to see an occupational therapist or physiotherapists.

An occupational therapist can assess their abilities in daily activities such as:

  • using cutlery
  • dressing
  • using the toilet
  • playing
  • classroom tasks such as writing, using scissors, or participation in practical subjects.

The physiotherapist can assess their gross motor skills and advise on areas such as:

  • participation in physical activities such as P.E and playground activities
  • ability to negotiate the school environment.

Please note: this information has been collated from professionals working within West Sussex. Whilst these resources have been identified as useful to those using them, the information below should not be viewed as a 'preferred' or exhaustive list.