Unique Larne partnership aims to help children with co-ordination disorder

Occupational therapist Clare Canale and gym manager Andrew Falconer.
Occupational therapist Clare Canale and gym manager Andrew Falconer.

A unique partnership has been launched in Larne in a bid to help children with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder.

Occupational therapist Clare Canale has teamed up with personal trainer and gym manager Andrew Falconer to provide a new facility, “Active Robins”.

Clare, owner of Red Robin Therapy, said she believes that Developmental Co-ordination Disorder can affect up to three children in every classroon.

She explained:“Children with DCD have difficulty planning and carrying out movements.

“They struggle to master things most other children can manage by the time they are halfway through school, like riding a bike, dressing themselves, or holding a pencil properly.

“Staying on task, memory and grasping how to do things in the right order can be affected. These children can become prone to low self-esteem and may experience bullying. Most try to avoid physical activities, and research shows that they are more likely to end up with weight problems.”

“The cause of DCD is not known, but it is thought to relate to ‘faulty wiring’ in the brain, with messages not getting through in the correct way. While DCD cannot be cured, skills can be improved with practice.

“However, NHS services available specifically for children with DCD are limited. Waiting lists are long and many don’t get support in time or miss out altogether as therapy is targeted at those most affected.”

Andrew Falconer, personal trainer and manager at Just Active Gym is enthusiastic, “We try to cater for all ages and abilities. This is a fantastic opportunity to provide a fun, non-therapy environment for kids with DCD to practise a range of fundamental co-ordination skills.”

Active Robins starts on July 31 at 11.30am at Just Active. Classes run every Monday and Wednesday for four weeks. If you think your child would benefit or want more information, email Clare at clare@redrobintherapy.com or Andrew at andrew@justactive.pro.