What are Gross Motor Skill Delays?

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What are Gross Motor Skill Delays?

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What are Gross Motor Skill Delays?

Important Toddler Milestones

What are gross motor skills, and how can you tell if your child is experiencing a delay in developing them?

Gross motor development refers to muscles that control large, whole-body movements. This includes early skills, such as when your infant holds up their head, rolls over, sits up, or crawls. As your child grows, gross motor skills are involved in activities like walking, running, and climbing. Gross motor skills are used in many simple childhood activities and games, such as jumping jacks, hopscotch, and riding a tricycle.

In addition to basic movements and activities, gross motor skills are involved in balance, coordination, physical strength, and reaction time.

When to Expect Milestones

Every child develops at their own rate, often reaching milestones a little early or a little later compared to children their own age.  Even so, there are standard gross motor milestones to watch out for. If a child misses multiple milestones or is significantly delayed in reaching a milestone, it may be time to seek a professional opinion.

The list below provides common examples but is not comprehensive.

0 to 1 Year-old

  • At 2 months: lifting head while lying on stomach.
  • At 4 months: rolling over from stomach to back.
  • At 6 months: sitting up without help.
  • At 9 months: crawling and pulling up to stand using furniture.

At 1 Year-old

  • At 15 months: walking and standing.
  • At 18 months: using stairs with adult help.

At 2 Years-old

  • Walking without assistance.
  • First attempts to run, skip, and jump.
  • Pick up toys from the floor without falling over.

At 3 Years-old

  • Able to balance on one foot.
  • Can catch, throw, and kick a ball.
  • Running and hopping.
  • Climbing on and off furniture.
  • Pedal a tricycle.

How to Recognize Developmental Delays

If your child seems to be struggling with balance, coordination, and muscle strength at any stage, it could be a sign of a problem that needs early intervention and treatment. When it comes to gross motor skills, a few typical red flags include:

By 1 Year-old

  • Difficulty rolling over.
  • Needs support to sit up on floor.
  • Prefers to turn head to one side.
  • Flattened area on head.

By 2 Years-old

  • Unable to walk without assistance.
  • Tends to walk on tiptoes.
  • Continues to have difficulty sitting up.

By 3 Years-old

  • Frequent falls and difficulty running.
  • Problems throwing, catching, and kicking balls
  • Can’t use stairs without assistance.

Early Intervention Therapies

If your child is presenting with one or more developmental delays, there is a great deal of help and many resources you can call upon. Ask your pediatrician about Early Intervention therapies from TEIS Early Intervention.

For some children, developmental delays can make everyday activities and socialization difficult. At TEIS Early Intervention, our therapists listen to your concerns, assess your child’s individual needs, develop a customized treatment plan, and educate you along the way on simple routine based solutions to maximize your child’s development in their natural environment.

Early Intervention evaluations and therapy services are available under the Federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.  Before services can be provided, an independent evaluation of your child must be completed. To assure impartiality, one agency offers evaluation services while another provides the therapeutic services

To learn more, call TEIS Early Intervention at 412-271-8347 or visit our Contact Us page to get help today.

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