Atypical adaptive postural responses in children with developmental coordination disorder: Implications for rehabilitation

Yoyo T.Y. Cheng, Louisa M.Y. Chung, Joanne W.Y. Chung, Catherine Mary Schooling, Yang Gao, Young Hyeon Bae, William W.N. Tsang, Shirley S.M. Fong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adaptive postural control is an important yet underexamined area in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). This study compared adaptive postural responses between children with DCD and those with typical development. Methods: This was an exploratory cross-sectional study. Fifty-two children with DCD (aged 6–9 years) and 52 age- and sex-matched children with typical development participated in the study. Their adaptive postural (motor) responses were assessed using the Adaptation Test (ADT) on a computerized dynamic posturography machine. The sway energy score (SES) for each ADT trial and the average SES of five trials for both toes-up and toes-down platform inclination conditions were recorded. Results: The SESs were lower in the DCD group than in the control group in ADT toes-up trial 1 (p = 0.009) and on average (p = 0.044). In the control group, the SES decreased from trial 1 to trial 2 for both the ADT toes-up (p = 0.005) and toes-down conditions (p < 0.001). Significance: Adaptive postural responses were absent in children with DCD, and these children used less force (i.e., sway energy) to overcome postural instability. Therefore, both adaptive balance and neuromuscular training should be factored into rehabilitation programs for children with DCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date12 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adaptation test
  • Balance
  • Dyspraxia
  • Pediatric
  • Physiotherapy


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