Gross motor skills use large body muscles for larger movements like jumping, running, walking, skipping, hopping etc. With the development of gross motor skills, other subtle skills like hand-foot-eye co-ordination, sensory functions of touch, smell, visual and auditory, self esteem, confidence and interacting skills also develop alongside. Not all children with autism lack gross motor skills. Some are wiry and quite quick on their feet while others are unable to even balance on their feet and the reasons generally are;
· Behavioral issues
· Obsessive disorders
· Hatred of touch, smells, noises and light
· Poor muscle strength
· Poor discerning skills
You can develop your child’s gross motor skills with appropriate physical activities, lots of patience, support and love, depending on your child’s level of development. In order to derive maximum benefit and success, as well as be assured of your child’s involvement without fear, anxiety or anger, it is necessary to remain positive, focused, tolerant and exceedingly encouraging and supportive.
Usually children with autism dislike an element of surprise in anything. They like to be prepared as the unexpected fill them with dread or shock. You should be able to build their confidence and remove their inherent fear of touch or movement in their motor skill activities. Grade the activities in order of least threatening and slowly raise the level and intensity of activities, bearing in mind your child’s level of development. Click on the link below for a list of fun-filled activities to help build your child’s confidence and gross motor skills.