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.
Wilmut, KateDu, WenchongBarnett, Anna L.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health
Year of publication: 2015Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-02-05