Gross motor skills relate to the large movements our bodies utilise to negotiate our way around the environment as well as engage within sport and exercise based activities. As a baby, these are one of the skills we develop first and foremost including tummy time, crawling, sitting, and walking.
The components that make up gross motor skills include:
- Motor planning
- Motor learning
- Core muscle strength and stability
- Shoulder strength, mobility and stability
- Muscle tone
- Hand-eye coordination
- Bilateral integration
- Crossing the midline
- Head control
- Postural control
Gross motor skills are required for everyday activities including: sitting, crawling, walking, and running. Components such as bilateral integration and core muscle strength are needed for the body to produce skilled actions such as catching a ball.
An indication that your child is experiencing difficulty with their gross motor skill development may include:
- Poor balance, posture, or coordination
- Presents as clumsy or awkward
- Inability to plan and sequence steps and movements
- Becomes tired easily from physical activity in comparison to their peers
- Late in reaching developmental milestones or missing them out completely such as crawling
- Inability to negotiate the environment such as the stairs
- Difficulty learning to ride a bicycle
- Delay in developing ball skills such as catching or kicking a ball
- Slumping, slouching, or leaning on their hand or arm when seated at the table
- Avoidance of Physical Education (PE) lessons at school or sport activities
Seirrah OT can help babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents to develop gross motor skills by first carrying out an assessment to identify what exactly they are having difficulties with. Part of the assessment may include observations, administering standardised assessment tools, taking a history profile from parents, and completing school questionnaires.
Following assessment, the Occupational Therapist will work with you and your child to establish treatment goals, and create an individualised programme which will include extra-curricular activities, specific exercises, and targeted activities to be completed on a regular basis. The Occupational Therapist will ensure various approaches to intervention are explored to enable them to work with the individual and their individual needs.
Some of the activities that we may include within therapy or work towards engaging within include:
- Riding a bicycle
- Aqua therapy
- Rock climbing
- Ball skills
- Obstacle courses
If you feel that your child is not reaching milestones, is uncoordinated, or indicate they are experiencing difficulties with their gross motor skill development, please contact our team for more information on how Seirrah OT can support, either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 02920 023314.
The MAT Centre,
Walnut Tree Farm Park,
St.Brides, NP10 8SQ