Early Childhood Intervention: Module One – Typical and Atypical Development

Gross Motor Skills

Motor development1 begins with simple skills and moves to more complex skills. This is why it is described in terms of a hierarchical pattern (see full Glossary) (Fig. 1). Delays in the development of gross motor skills should be addressed as soon as possible. For instance, a child may not be able to run, if he/she does not learn to stand and walk first.

Figure 1: A child learning to walk. He needed to stand up alone first.

Some signs of gross motor delay include:

Between 3 and 12 months old:

  • Delay in opening hands;
  • Difficulties holding head up;
  • Difficulties sitting, with support or independently;
  • Difficulties standing.

Between 12 – 18 months old:

Between 18 – 36 months old:

1. see References


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