It’s not until you injure a finger or hand that you realise how integral fine motor is in our everyday lives.
Fine motor is important when it comes to self-care tasks (i.e. dressing, eating, cleaning ourselves) as well with academics (i.e. writing, drawing, cutting etc.), and can be crucial to our self-esteem and education.
This can have a particularly significant impact on children when fine motor delays go unnoticed.
Potential signs that a child may have a delay in their fine motor development include, but not limited to:
- Shaky or weak upper limbs and/or hands
- Dropping items
- Unable to tie shoelaces
- Difficulty holding a spoon or toothbrush
- Trouble writing, colouring, or using scissors
How We Help
At Kind Health Company, help is rarely focused solely on fine motor activities. This is because the very foundation of a child’s development is their central nervous system (CNS).
The CNS is closely linked to the sensory system which in turn is the foundation for sensorimotor development (i.e. motor planning, awareness of two sides of the body etc.). This layer then supports motor development (gross and fine motor) which includes skills such as eye-hand coordination, postural adjustment and visual-spatial perception. When gaps are present at the foundation level (the CNS), we can expect to see gaps throughout all layers of development.
So what do we do?
- We incorporate Reflex Integration Therapy
Reflex integration is when specific developmental primitive reflexes are naturally phased out. When this ‘integration’ doesn’t happen, and children retain these reflexes they can cause all sorts of challenges for a child.
- We use Heavy Work
Some children need an extra hand “jump-starting” the systems that control balance, movement, and body awareness. This proprioceptive input helps to calm their body and help their body to feel more organised.
- Sensory Motor activities
There are a myriad of activities that target sensory motor development. Activities which involve sensory stimulation help to improve a child’s motor planning, understanding of their body in space and postural stability to just name a few.
- Core Strengthening Activities
A strong focus on core muscles is vital for movement control. A weak core leads to weak gross motor skills which leads to decreased fine motor skills. The engaged and strong muscles of the abdomen and upper body allow for strength and engagement of the upper arm, and in turn leads to dexterity and motor control of the hands.
- Fine Motor Activities
Just like sensory motor activities, there are countless ways we can assist children to strengthen their fine motor skills. If you are interested in ways you can assist your child, check out this resource: https://www.theottoolbox.com/fine-motor-skills/
If you are unsure about your child’s fine motor development, please speak to one of our friendly staff to find out how we can help.