Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A fresh approach to improved quality of life for children with developmental disorders

All too often, problems starting in early childhood lead to lifelong inequalities in health and well-being. EU funding supported research on developmental disorders in a large metropolitan borough, home to some of the United Kingdom’s most deprived areas.
A fresh approach to improved quality of life for children with developmental disorders
The overall aim of the project KIDDS (Kinematic identification of developmental disorders) was to identify children with developmental disorders and help improve their quality of life and academic performance. Research focused on developmental disorders such as developmental coordination disorder and related movement difficulties and skills and how they impact daily activities and/or academic performance.

Research training concentrated on acquiring new knowledge/skills regarding cognitive and motor assessment instruments and the identification of learning difficulties/impairments. It also focused on intervention methods and designing new ones.

Project work involved school screenings, including various questionnaires for teachers of more than 500 pupils aged 4-11 years at 10 schools in the borough of Bradford. Children identified as having possible coordination disorder were assessed on four objective measures of motor skills. Children found to have movement disorder received the Ecological Intervention, with emphasis on the dynamic interaction between child, environment and task.

Strategies for teaching of movement skills used covered task analysis, task adaptation and expert scaffolding (personal assistance and support, and equipment modification). A total of 37 children (7 deaf) received intensive intervention. KIDDS efforts have resulted in the adoption of a large-scale programme of work in the city of Bradford that involves the testing of 20 000 children.

Other milestones were implementation of individual interventions in a special school for deaf children, and a systematic review of motor skill programmes for children with developmental coordination disorder. Four booklets were developed for the training of fine and gross motor skills (two each for teachers and parents). KIDDS also organised the 6th Biennial Developmental Coordination Disorder UK conference, held at the University of Leeds in July 2016.

The project’s most notable outcome was the establishment of reliable techniques for identifying children with motor impairment and the implementation of individual intervention plans.

KIDDS has made important headway in leveraging opportunities to deliver potentially beneficial interventions to children as early as possible. Such work is vital to reducing inequalities later in life.

Related information


Quality of life, children, developmental disorders, KIDDS, academic performance, individual intervention
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