Journal Article

How do I fit through that gap? Navigation through apertures in adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder


During everyday life we move around busy environments and encounter a range of obstacles, such as a narrow aperture forcing us to rotate our shoulders in order to pass through. In typically developing individuals the decision to rotate the shoulders is body scaled and this movement adaptation is temporally and spatially tailored to the size of the aperture. This is done effortlessly although it actually involves many complex skills. For individuals with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) moving in a busy environment and negotiating obstacles presents a real challenge which can negatively impact on safety and participation in motor activities in everyday life. However, we have a limited understanding of the nature of the difficulties encountered. Therefore, this current study considered how adults with DCD make action judgements and movement adaptations while navigating apertures. Fifteen adults with DCD and 15 typically developing (TD) controls passed through a series of aperture sizes which were scaled to body size (0.9-2.1 times shoulder width). Spatial and temporal characteristics of movement were collected over the approach phase and while crossing the aperture. The decision to rotate the shoulders was not scaled in the same way for the two groups, with the adults with DCD showing a greater propensity to turn for larger apertures compared to the TD adults when body size alone was accounted for. However, when accounting for degree of lateral trunk movement and variability on the approach, we no longer saw differences between the two groups. In terms of the movement adaptations, the adults with DCD approached an aperture differently when a shoulder rotation was required and then adapted their movement sooner compared to their typical peers. These results point towards an adaptive strategy in adults with DCD which allows them to account for their movement difficulties and avoid collision.

Attached files


Wilmut, Kate
Du, Wenchong
Barnett, Anna L.

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health


Year of publication: 2015
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-02-05

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Version of Record of How do I fit through that gap? Navigation through apertures in adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder
This RADAR resource is Cited by Navigational abilities in individuals with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder(DCD), Phase 3: Negotiating obstacles in children with DCD


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