Crossing midline is an important developmental skill that is typically mastered when a child is 3 or 4 years old. Crossing midline is the ability to reach across the middle of the body to the other side. It creates connections in the brain by requiring the left and right sides of the brain to “talk” to each other in order to coordinate movement and learning.
Children who have difficulty crossing midline can have difficulty with handwriting, reading, and gross and fine motor skills. (more…)
Good gross motor control provides the core stability and strength necessary for hand and finger muscles to do their work. Gross motor skills involve the postural control and movement of large muscle groups in the neck, shoulders, trunk, and legs; these skills allow us to perform tasks like sitting upright, standing, walking, running, and playing. Gross motor skill development typically precedes the development of fine motor skills.
To write proficiently, students must have the postural control and core stability to sit upright, along with the shoulder strength and endurance to stabilize the hand and fingers.
The following gross motor activities can help improve strength and postural stability: (more…)
The muscles used in handwriting begin to develop and strengthen in infancy, and by the age of five most children have developed enough muscle strength and control to begin writing. The small finger muscles are the ones most central to the writing process, but the larger muscles of the hand, shoulder, arm, and wrist also need to be strong and efficient in order to provide the necessary stability that allows the smaller muscles to do their job. Fine motor skills such as thumb opposition and in- hand manipulation rely on muscle strength and control. For children who need help improving the muscle strength that leads to fine motor skill success, here are some ideas: (more…)
Hand preference can begin as early as 18 months but usually develops around the ages of 3 or 4. Some children do not develop dominance until as late as 6 or 7. Determining hand dominance, and encouraging the use of the dominant hand, helps children to develop speed and accuracy with fine motor activities, especially handwriting.
Children who chew on their pencils, clothing, toys, etc. are usually seeking oral sensorimotor input to organize, calm, and focus their nervous system.
Strategies to support your child’s oral sensory seeking behaviors: