Gross motor functions are the skills where large muscles of the body are being used to do big movements of body in space. These skills include standing, walking, running, jumping etc. muscle tone, posture, muscular strength plays vital role in developing these skills in children. The children will typically learn head control, trunk stability, and then standing up and walking (Humphrey). Any hindrance in gross motor development sequence can cause a gap in growth cycle leading to dysfunction.
Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes. They participate in smaller actions such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger, writing carefully, and even blinking. These two motor skills work together to provide coordination. As grown-ups our need for doing fine motor skills increases with increasing life challenges. And we build our foundations for these skills in childhood. Children use their fine motor skills when writing, holding small items, buttoning clothing, turning pages, eating, cutting with scissors, and using computer keyboards. Mastery of fine motor skills requires precision and coordination. Fine motor skills develop after gross motor skills, when the child has developed skills such as catching, throwing, swinging of arm, indicating core muscles strength, which help the kid stabilize the arm and move the forearm, wrist, and fingers effectively in space.
How can you detect your child has problems in Gross Motor Function:
Pre writing skills are the ones which kids develop before they start writing. They develop naturally through course of development with play. These skills includes: in-hand manipulation, thumb opposition, pincer grasp, scissoring skills: making snips on the paper, cutting along a straight line, cutting various shapes, scribbling with proper grasp and grip on crayon/pen, coloring within lines... They also include: drawing “/,|,U,~,V”, imitating simple shapes, copying shapes, coloring of small objects, regards of the lines in cursive, using proper upper case and lower case etc. How can you detect your child has problems in pre writing skills:
Visual perception: Visual perception allows a child process, identify and make sense of what he sees in the environment around him. These skills include:
Visual discrimination: the ability to discriminate form, color, position and shape.
Spatial relationships: the ability to recognize one object in various orientation (reversal/rotation). Visual memory: the ability to recognize an object after a brief interval.
Figure-ground: the ability to recognize an object in a cluttered background.
Visual closure: the ability to recognize the whole object even when fragments of it is visible. Making sense of what you see is vital for school skills such as reading, writing and math, as well as life skills such as reading signs and maps, finding objects in a busy space, and taking part in hobbies or crafts. Recognizing letters and numbers, matching shapes, recognizing a face, finding a toy in a messy cupboard, reading a road sign – these are all examples of how visual perception can be used in everyday life.
How can you detect your child has problems in pre writing skills:
Occupational therapy can help by improving ability in persistence to visual tasks. For the tasks of reading and writing, visual discrimination is critical for seeing letters or words as different, recognizing letters or words in different contexts. For example, a child must know that the word “the” is the same whether they see it written in a text book, on a marker board, or in a magazine article. A child has to remember what they read and recognize a word from one page to the next. Difficulties with this skill can also make copying from a board or book so much more challenging. Visual closure is important for reading and comprehending what we see quickly. That whole left/right concept plays a big part in this skill as well.
In fine motor terms, visual spatial relations are important for appropriate letter orientation and avoiding reversals. After all, “b” and “d” are essentially the same shape, just pointing in different directions. Difficulties with these skill can leave kids lost as they look for specific information on a busy worksheet. Occupational therapist uses strategies to help child identify and cope up with the challenges environment provides.