Do you have a child who is struggling with motor skills? One of the most frustrating things for a parent is to see their child struggling when simple tasks that come effortlessly to other children are a challenge. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your child improve in this area. Here are some practical suggestions:
1. Take the child to a therapist
You can go it alone to start, but the sooner you get professional help, the better. Find a therapist who specializes in motor skill development. Taking your child to a pediatrician and asking for a referral should be your first step. This is an early intervention in Singapore which is well worth the investment of time and money.
A good therapist will have a number of strategies to help your child like providing feedback on what they are doing. For example, if your child is finding it hard to eat with a spoon, the therapist might provide them with an inflated balloon to hold rather than using a spoon. This forces the child’s hand into the correct grip and also takes away some of the frustration since food doesn’t come out as easily.
2. Work at home
Once the therapist has given specific strategies, you will need to work on them on a daily basis. The more consistent you are, though, the more likely it is that your child will improve.
These changes only take place over time so don’t expect quick results. Like changing any habit, it takes 21 days for something to become routine. You can make this easier by working on their new skills at the same time every day. For example, you could work on fine motor skills when they are eating breakfast or brushing their teeth.
3. Be patient
You may feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall sometimes, but remember that children with challenges in this area need unconditional support and encouragement. Don’t let your frustration show because that will only derail progress. Set realistic goals for the child and then praise them when they meet their target every time. When it comes to motor skills, your kid can do well if you stay patient and make changes slowly but surely.
4. Feed your child healthy on food
Food doesn’t directly influence motor skills, but it does impact the brain. If you are feeding your child junk food which will make them lethargic and slow down their ability to learn. Make sure that your child is getting plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables each day as well as healthy sources of protein.
5. Watch for other signs
If your child is struggling with motor skills, you should also look out for other signs that there might be something wrong. For example, are they stumbling a lot? Are they awkward when it comes to sports? If there are definite problems in this area as well as others, then speak to the doctor again about getting further help.
It’s fairly common for children to be delayed in reaching milestones like walking and speaking. However, it can often be due to fluid on the brain or Down syndrome, so it is important to check with the doctor if you are concerned about your child’s development. If motor skills are the only problem, then you should find that they improve as the child gets older. Whatever the case, consult with a specialist to find out the best way to help your child overcome challenges in this area.