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Gross Motor Skills and Autism --Sandra Hubbard

Kids who have autism tend to have deficiencies in both fine and gross motor skill. Research has shown that speech, social, and motor skills are all interrelated, therefore working on gross motor skills can help to improve all of these areas. Repetition is a great way to work on these skills and consistency is a crucial part of it. So if you, the parent, are working with your child on specific skills make sure you communicate with others such as: teachers, therapists, and others who may be able to provide activities that can also help your child reach his/her goals. This will benefit your child by enabling him to better relate to his/her peers because of their improved motor ability.
When a child cannot jump, catch a ball, or keep up with his peers while playing tag, they have a harder time relating to their peers socially and interact less with children around them. This causes them to fall behind with social interaction. With some sort of exercise intervention whether it’s a physical therapist, a personal trainer (who works with kids who have Autism), a teacher, or yourself, you are helping your child gain more confidence in their gross motor skills in a safe environment. This gained confidence leads to a child who is more likely to have more social interactions with his/her peers and feel more prepared to play with others. It’s a domino effect in a positive way when you decide to take time to improve your child’s gross motor skills. Here are some ideas you may want to try at home:
• Catching bubbles
• Balloon volleyball
• Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song
• Hokey Pokey
• Jumping on a trampoline
• Climbing
• Crawling through tunnels
• Catch
• Kick a ball
• Riding a tricycle or bicycle
• Imitate animal movements (gallop, waddle, hop)
• Balance on one leg

Copyright © 2017 Suzanne M. Gray.