MOTOR SKILL DELAYS
What are the common motor skill delays?
Gross and fine motor skill delays can be related to poor integration of touch, movement and muscle sensations (tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive information). Common issues seen include:
Poor core stability:
- Commonly seen with low muscle tone, weakness in trunk muscles at front and back of body and decreased shoulder and wrist stability
- This means that the student lacks a stable base of support for all balance, movement and coordination tasks.
- May lead to a tendency to move very fast in order to maintain control and a difficulty in moving slowly
- Child looks clumsy when running, jumping and generally moving
- Motor Planning, bilateral control and Sequencing Issues
- Difficulty with sequencing all motor tasks such as crawling, rolling, jumping, hopping, skipping, galloping and heel-toe walking
- Often associated with difficulty with coordination of two sides of the body such as star jumps, scissor jumps and catching a ball.
Object control skills:
Difficulty with timing, force control, judgement and co-ordinating body with objects such as:
- Catching, kicking, batting and throwing balls
- Ball skills in a busy environment (e.g. in a team game of soccer or basketball on a sport field)
Poor fine motor skills – due to:
- Decreased touch and/ or proprioceptive awareness in his hands means that over-reliant on vision for all fine motor and drawing tasks.
- Lack of maturity in hand skill development including hands have not strongly specialized (ie right or left handed), decreased ability to manipulate objects in one hand, decreased co-ordination of two hands, decreased wrist, shoulder and forearm stability
- Difficulties with fine motor planning
- Visual processing issues can also contribute to this.
What approach does Kids Matters Occupational Therapy offer for Motor skill Difficulties?
- Full assessment of child’s sensory processing, gross and fine motor skills.
- Sensory Integration Based treatments for any sensory processing issues.
- Specific structured learning interventions as required including:
• fine motor skill remediation
• gross motor skill remediation
• visual motor integration
• play skills
Advanced Programs that may be suggested include:
- Astronaut Program for low confidence/ fear of movement for enhanced visual, auditory and vestibular integration
- Therapeutic listening for auditory defensiveness, improved attention and auditory, vestibular, postural and breath integration
- Interactive Metronome for improving rhythmicity, timing and co-ordination
- Sensory Diet/ Lifestyle for regulating and organizing the nervous system