top of page

DLD and DCD: Links to quality of life

Flapper, B. C. T., & Schoemaker, M. M. (2013). Developmental Coordination Disorder in children with specific language impairment: Co-morbidity and impact on quality of life. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(2), 756–763. Aim of the paper: This study looks into the combined presence of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and DLD in children. DCD impairs motor performance and can interfere with children’s daily lives. They investigated the prevalence of DCD in children with DLD. They also look at how DCD impacts children’s quality of life, by measuring children’s physical and motor functioning, as well as social cognition (how we interpret and react to social situations) and daily living. They compared the quality of life between children with both DLD and DCD, children with just DLD and a control group with no disorders.

What was found:

  • A third of the children with DLD were found to have DCD, which is higher than the presence of DCD in the general population.

  • Quality of life was lower in children with DLD compared to the control group, regardless of whether they had DCD.

  • Children with both DCD and DLD had significantly lower scores in the motor functioning and social cognition aspects of quality of life, compared to children with just DLD and the control group.

What does this mean? Overall, there is a high proportion of children with DLD that have DCD too, making up a third of the sample in this study. DLD, in general, negatively affects children’s quality of life. However, the combined presence of DLD and DCD impacts their motor and social cognitive functioning even more. This study emphasises on the importance of screening for DCD in children with DLD to ensure they receive appropriate intervention that can help reduce the negative effects DCD has on their quality of life.

Where can I read this paper? This paper is not open access so we cannot provide a link at this time. If you wish to read the full paper, please email


bottom of page