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Gross Motor Delay

Every child grows and develops at their own pace. Some are early to meet gross motor skills like rolling, crawling or walking and some are late. Many children are normal and healthy but simply follow their own schedule. In some cases, however, gross motor delay can be a sign of a more serious problem. A paediatric healthcare team will understand if a child’s delay is something to worry about. If gross motor delay is due to a medical problem there are several possible causes including a genetic disorder like Down Syndrome, neuromuscular disorder such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy or a development problem like Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability resulting in social, communication,  and behavioural challenges. Children with ASD, will often have impaired motor skills because of low muscle tone, poor balance, a lack of coordination or combination of all. Motor delays in children with ASD may contribute to difficulty in acquiring social skills. Early intervention can help children with ASD learn important skills, improve development and help them meet their full potential.

CYP can help!

There is no standard treatment for children with Autism spectrum disorder. Physiotherapists at CYP will help children who have difficulty with functional movement, poor balance and challenges navigating their environments successfully. Following a thorough assessment, our physiotherapists will design a program that will address the child’s area of need and help parents develop ways to help their child at home.

Many autistic children have trouble engaging in play-based activities. Our team knows how to teach kids with ASD how to play and how to participate in daily routines at home, in the community, and at school.

Developmental Coordination Disorder

A child with Development Coordination Disorder (DCD) may have delays in fine and gross motor skills. These movement problems can affect their education and ability to do everyday tasks, as they may be slow, inaccurate, or inconsistent with fine and gross motor skills. Signs of DCD can vary dramatically from child to child. A diagnosis doesn’t usually happen until pre-school age, and it takes careful assessment by a paediatric physiotherapist and developmental paediatrician to identify the disorder and ensure treatment is in line with the child’s goals and needs.

CYP can help!

Development Coordination Disorder can look different in every child; therefore, a custom treatment approach is required. Our team will work with children and their families to create games and home programs that encourage practice and repetition, strengthening, balance, and self-coaching strategies to improve coordination to make everyday tasks easier. 

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. The additional copy changes the typical development of a baby’s brain and body, causing intellectual and physical challenges. Motor development is often delayed in babies with Down Syndrome because they may have low muscle tone, decreased strength and coordination difficulties.

CYP can help!

Physiotherapy is an important piece of the healthcare puzzle for children with Down Syndrome. Together with a child’s healthcare team, we can create an individualized treatment plan that will help improve strength, developmental skills, balance, coordination, posture and physical fitness. Through games, play and fun tasks we will teach children to master motor skills,  get strong and improve independence with daily activities and quality of life.

Other Gross Motor Delay:

Global Delay, Syndromes, Hypotonia


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