Assisting Infants & Children With Motor Delays
Every child develops at their own pace, and occasional delays may not necessarily indicate a long-term issue. However, if you have concerns about your child’s ability to move and navigate their environment, your child may benefit from an evaluation for motor delays.
Motor delay refers to a lag in the development of a child’s motor skills, which involve the coordination and control of muscles for movement. Motor delays can affect gross motor skills, movements involving the whole body, such as rolling over or walking; and fine motor skills, which involve the coordination of smaller muscles, usually the hands and fingers. Common signs of a motor delay include:
- Delayed rolling over, crawling, sitting without support, standing, or walking
- Difficulty grasping objects, manipulating toys, or picking up small objects
- Difficulty performing tasks that require hand-eye coordination or using both sides of the body together
- Difficulty tracking objects visually
- Unsteady walking, frequent falls, or difficulty with activities that require balance, such as riding a bike or jumping
- Weak muscles or low muscle tone, also called hypotonia
- Delayed or atypical reflexes
If your child is showing symptoms of a motor delay, ask your pediatrician about an evaluation.