Motor development delays in children

A child’s motor development is an important part of his or her overall development. Atypical motor development is likely to influence learning in other areas, such as emotional, social, cognitive and linguistic.

The acquisition of new motor skills, such as walking, allows the child to develop his or her autonomy, curiousity and self-confidence. It’s therefore critical to allow children the opportunity to discover their bodies and to avoid situations where they can’t figure things out on their own. From a very early age, encourage time for free play on the floor, whether on the back or on the stomach. This will stimulate the child to move and explore their environment.

When do we start to talk about motor development delays?

Although everyone grows according to their own schedule, it’s important to seek advice when you notice significant motor challenges in your child, based on their age. Guidelines have been established as a reference for anticipating the development of gross motor skills. However, it’s worth noting that plateaus, delays and regressions are all part of the normal cycle of development.

Objective tests can be used to determine whether a delay has occurred, allowing intervention to take place. If troubling and repeated behaviors occur, consult your physiotherapist to establish a stimulation program. He or she will refer you to the appropriate specialists (physicians, pediatricians, orthopedists, etc.) for a more thorough examination, if necessary.

The physiotherapist’s role in motor development

In collaboration with the primary physician, the physiotherapist’s role is to evaluate motor skill challenges in your child. He or she can:

In short, a child’s motor development is not to be taken lightly, and involves more subtleties than we think. Quick, specialized and targeted support allows your child to grow to his or her full motor potential and beyond! Talk with one of our pediatric physiotherapists or attend one of our conferences in collaboration with various companies across Quebec, and we will be happy to discuss things further with you!