Motor Development - Motor Control


Motor Development - Motor Control

Growth - changes in the physical aspects of the body

Maturation - Physical changes that cause organs and body systems to reach adult form and function

Why study it - diagnosis of abnormal development, establish age appropriate activites

Development up to 18 years, but most by 8

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Reflex - movement response to stimulus

All babies are born with them pre-programmed

Most disapear or are incoporated into movement

1. Primitive - infant survival and nourishment seeking e.g. suckling, rooting, grasping

2. Postural - after 2 months old, e.g. labrinthine, parachute

3. Locomotive - stepping, swimming and crawling

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Normal Motor Development

Reflexes are first obvious sign of movement - performed without concious effort or stimulation from higher brain centres

4th week is when voluntary movements begin

Reflexes gradually replaced with movements under cerebral cortical control 

Motor milestones in order:

1. Hold head up

2. Sit

3. Stand

4. Walk

It is thought that earlier reflexive and stereotype movements are useful for development of muscle strength

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Spontaneous Movements

Self organising group of behaviours may be fundamental structure underlying the construction of voluntary movement

Thelen (81) and Thelen and Fisher (82,83)

Thelen (79) found 47 different movements from 20 babies over 48 weeks

Found that the number of bouts increased between 4 yrs and 54 weeks

They include:

Kicking, rocking, scrating, waving, bouncing, banging and swaying

Precursors to later development

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1. Initial stage

Very rigid movement, legs tend to be together, and throw from elbow

2. Mid stage 

Less rigid, steps forward with leg and uses more upward and often sideways swing of the arm

3. Mature stage

Arm is swung back in preparation and there is rotation at the hip and more dynamic stepping approach

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Early - hands held above shoulders, holding onto objects and very rigid

As strength increases, so does balance and the strides will be longer and hands lower

By the age of 6-8 a child will exhibit walking pattern as seen in adults

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Children get consistently faster with age

Stiff uneven stride with limited leg and no observable flight phase will be replaced by an increase in stride length and longer arm movement

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Moving to Learn

In oder to learn, children need to explore, manipulate and move in the context in which movement takes place

If children have a poor movement experience, their motor development will be impaired

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