Children who are diagnosed with probable developmental coordination disorder (DCD) at 7 years of age have an increased risk of having mental health issues by the time they are 9 or 10 years old, according to a new study in the April 2012 Pediatrics. The study, "Mental Health Difficulties in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder," (published online March 26), is the largest study to-date, examining data on 6,902 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children who experienced severe motor coordination difficulties, known as DCD. The 346 children identified with probable DCD were twice as likely to self-report depression and four times more likely for a parent to report behavioral and mental health difficulties by 9 or 10 years of age. Study authors conclude that strategies to build self-esteem, encourage good social communication skills, and decrease bullying, could be important to reduce the risk of mental health difficulties in children with DCD.
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