Services for children with developmental co-ordination disorder: the experiences of parents
Article first published online: 31 JAN 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Child: Care, Health and Development
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 422–429, May 2011
How to Cite
Maciver, D., Owen, C., Flannery, K., Forsyth, K., Howden, S., Shepherd, C. and Rush, R. (2011), Services for children with developmental co-ordination disorder: the experiences of parents. Child: Care, Health and Development, 37: 422–429. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01197.x
- Issue published online: 5 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2011
- Accepted for publication 31 October 2010
- motor skills;
- occupational therapy;
- therapy services
Background Parents provide valuable information on their experiences of engaging with therapy services for their children, which can inform the future development of these services. The aim of this study was to explore the views and experiences of parents who had accessed therapy services for their child with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD).
Methods Seven focus groups were conducted incorporating 52 parents who had a child diagnosed with, or fitting the diagnostic criteria for DCD. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed and analysed thematically.
Findings Parents reported struggling to gain access to therapy services. When they gained access, they found the services beneficial for their child but continued to experience difficulties regarding the quality of service delivery.
Conclusions/implications The study suggests that parents thought some health-care professionals lacked knowledge and understanding of DCD, which they believed impacted upon early recognition and access to services. They perceived that therapy at an early age was vital for children's development, and indicated that a clearer path for accessing these services was necessary in addition to improved service quality. They called for an increase in awareness of DCD by all therapy service professionals to aid early recognition and improved treatment.