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Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are usually described as small motor skills. Fine motor skills mostly involve skills using your hands, wrists, fingers, and arms. It also involves other small muscles of the mouth like the tongue and lips. Fine motor skills also involve the development of hand-eye coordination. Trouble with hand-eye coordination can also affect the progression of fine motor development.

A lack of fine motor development can affect many aspects of your daily life. We use our fine motor skills to complete almost every task during the day-daily living skills (eating, dressing, housework) writing, reading, playing and using objects. Without development of appropriate fine motor skills, children can have difficulties in school and adults can have difficulties in their job. Children at school spend at least 70% of their day completing fine motor activities.

All children need to work on their fine motor development, but it is especially important for children that have deficits. These deficits can be caused by a variety of issues. Some of the causes of fine motor delays involve low muscle tone, poor motor planning, and sensory issues.

Children born prematurely or many children with disabilities such as Autism, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy have issues with their fine motor skills. Children with fine motor delays often receive Occupational Therapy once they begin in school. Unfortunately they usually only receive Occupational Therapy a couple times a week. Development of fine motor skills takes a lot of effort for individuals that have delays. It is not something that is fixed in a couple of days, weeks, or even months. Children with fine motor delays need daily practice and exposure to activities involving their fingers and hands. The more exposure and practice of fine motor tasks and activities the more the child is able to begin to develop or improve on their fine motor skills. For children the best way to work on these skills is by using toys or participating in fun activities.

Children in school with deficits in their fine motor skills can be affected academically, emotionally, and socially. These can continue into adulthood and affect them vocationally. A lack of fine motor development affects kids academically because they have difficulty completing and keeping up at a pace appropriate with their peers. This also affects them emotionally because they develop a frustration and sense of failure because they are unable to work on these fine motor tasks similarly to their peers. This also affects them socially. When a student has a lack of fine motor development they see things their peers can do, and knowing they cannot complete these activities they avoid interacting with peers because of their frustration and embarrassment.

A majority of our fine motor development occurs by the time we are six years old. These fine motor skills are improved as we grow older. If there are delays it is important that these be addressed as early as possible.

July 5, 2011 This post was written by Categories: Fine Motor Information No comments yet


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