Gross Motor Development: Physiotherapy Services for Kids

Gross motor development refers to the progressive acquisition of physical skills and abilities that involve the use of large muscle groups to perform coordinated movements. These movements are essential for everyday activities such as walking, running, and playing sports.

Gross motor development plays a crucial role in a child’s physical, social, and cognitive growth.

What is Gross Motor Function Relative to Age Norms?

Understanding gross motor function in children involves assessing their physical abilities and comparing them to established age norms. Age norms are predetermined benchmarks that help professionals, such as our Physiotherapists, gauge whether a child’s gross motor skills are developing within expected parameters for their age group.

By comparing a child’s performance to these norms, experts can identify areas where they may need additional support and intervention.

Who is Affected by Gross Motor Development Delays?

At Total Health Physio, we support children living with General Developmental Delay, as well as those living with a disability such as Cerebral Palsy.

Subsequently, it becomes the responsibility of our Physiotherapists to perform specific tests to identify any developmental delays as well as functional limitations caused by a diagnosed disability. These can affect not only a child’s physical but possibly also the behavioural, language and emotional aspects of the child’s development.

In many cases, Total Health Physio will work as part of a multidisciplinary team approach to healthcare for our client and their family.

How Our Physiotherapists Support Children’s Motor Development

At Total Health Physio, we are committed to helping children achieve their full potential. Our approach involves a comprehensive process designed to identify and address developmental needs effectively and compassionately.

Assessing Developmental Progress

  • Our first step is to assess each child’s current developmental stage.
  • We carefully examine their motor skills in comparison to established age norms.
  • We look for any disparities between their functional abilities and the normative standards for their age group.

Personalised Physiotherapy Program

  • Once we’ve identified areas where a child may be behind in their gross motor development, we create a customised plan.
  • Our programs incorporate specific activities, functional movements, and tailored exercises.
  • We prioritise activities that engage children through play, making the process enjoyable and motivating.
  • We provide sessions for the child and their carer/s to perform together with our Physiotherapists and progress to incorporate an independent Home Exercise Program as appropriate.

We’re dedicated to supporting your child’s gross motor development journey with expertise and compassion.

Gross Motor Assessment and Functional Testing

Our approach to assessing and improving gross motor development involves a combination of comprehensive evaluation tools and functional tests. These assessments provide valuable insights into a child’s physical abilities and guide our treatment plans and personalised programs.

Identifying Milestones and the GMFM-88 Assessment

The GMFM-88 (Gross Motor Function Measure) is a standardised assessment tool that a Physiotherapist can use as part of the assessment process of a child’s gross motor milestones.It is specifically designed for children up to the age of 18 and offers a clear outline of developmental norms for the various age groups.

Identifying a child’s gross motor milestones encompasses assessing a wide range of functional abilities. Assessments consider factors such as lower limb strength, upper limb function, balance, coordination, and proprioception.

Functional Testing

Our functional assessments often involve playful activities, especially for younger age groups. We often evaluate a child’s ability to perform functional movements through interactive play.

For example:

  • Walking heel to toe in a straight line without losing balance is one way we can identify balance issues.
  • Maintaining balance while standing on one leg for a specified duration can more specifically identify unilateral issues.
  • Successfully jumping over objects and landing on both feet simultaneously identifies specific lower limb strength and/or coordination issues.
  • Performing 360-degree turns in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions assesses specific aspects of balance, proprioception, lower limb strength, and coordination.
  • Touching their nose with their index finger, both slowly and quickly with either hand identifies upper limb coordination issues.
  • Demonstrating the ability to touch the heel of one foot to the shin of the other foot while in a seated position with either foot identifies lower limb coordination issues.

Our approach combines the scientific precision of such assessments with the enjoyable aspect of play-based scenarios. This ensures that we gather valuable data while keeping children engaged and motivated.

The outcomes from these assessments serve as the foundation for creating personalised treatment plans with a tailored program to support your child’s gross motor development.

Contact Us for a Gross Motor Development Assessment

Do you live in Melbourne and want a caring, trustworthy and compassionate Physiotherapist to visit your child at your home? We’d love to help with our kids program catering for children between the ages of 7 and 18.

  • We are fully Australian owned and operated
  • We will match a clinician to your requirements
  • We are NDIS registered
  • Our kids program is guided by a Paediatric Physio with over 2 decades of experience

Please use our contact page to get in touch!

Contact Us Call Us1800 847 847