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Is My Child’s Movement Ok? Here is the Checklist.

March 20, 2013

When infants are in their first years of life, they move through many movement milestones:

wiggling → pushing up → rolling  → pushing backwards → belly crawling → independent sitting →hands and knees creeping → bear walking → standing → walking and beyond!

crawl to walking baby

Just like other mammals, infants need to learn how to move in relation to gravity once they are born. Human infants are at a slight disadvantage compared to the animal world because they are born premature and are unable to move efficiently at birth. Human infants require at least another year outside of the womb to master some of their physical development which allows them independent motor movement.

How can you tell if your child is on track for healthy and normal physical development? As a general guideline, age is only one indication of where your child should be on the movement milestone progression. For example, walking at 12 months of age may be the norm for many children although many don’t start walking until 15 months. A better indicator of where your child should be on the timeline is whether or not your child has completed each developmental stage successfully before naturally progressing onto the next one.

There are some warning signs that a child may have some motor development movement challenges in the first few years of life.

  • Left or right side dominance (sides of body not equal)
  • Always using one hand to reach and grasp
  • Brings themselves to standing always using same leg
  • Sitting on one side of pelvis not both
  • Eyes not tracking
  • Not crossing over midline of the body
  • Unable to roll both ways
  • Unable to belly crawl
  • Unable to cross lateral creep
  • Upper body strong, lower body weak
  • Upper body weak, lower body strong
  • Child’s motor skills are regressing
  • Limbs seem stiff
  • Muscles seem floppy and loose
  • Child doesn’t walk yet after 18 months
  • Toe walking
  • Child seems very clumsy
  • Child is constantly moving
  • Child has trouble grasping and manipulating objects

If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms,  it may indicate the need for a somatic practitioner, such as a Certified Movement Analyst, to help diagnose and work with your child. In many cases, children can quickly re-pattern the body and re-wire the brain to allow for fully integrated and healthy, robust movement.

It is also important to note that it is never too late to correct an imbalance in physical motor development. Many older children and adults become locked in primitive movement patterns which can  have significant negative effects in physical coordination, emotional balance, learning ability and social skills. The solution? Work with a somatic practitioner to revisit the developmental movement cycle and fully integrate the patterns into the brain.

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