Assessment of Gross Motor and Fine Motor Development

Many assessment tools exist to measure a child's performance in regard to gross and fine motor skills. Each assessment requires good observational skills from the evaluator, who is typically a developmental pediatrician, nurse, educator, occupational therapist, or physical therapist. Some assessments call for each item to be administered in a formal standardized manner, so that each child is tested the same way every time. These tests are also called normative-based because they compare individual performance to that of other children. Other measures encourage professionals to ask parents questions about their child and are based on informal observations of the child at play. These more informal tests are referred to as criterion-based assessments because they compare individual performance to a criterion or standard. Regardless of the type of assessment, each measure has the common purpose of evaluating the child's current ability to perform motor-related tasks. Professionals use the results of these assessments to


Gross motor skills

Fine Motor skills

One month Turns head side to side on tummy; lifts head for a few seconds

Two months Bends hips with bottom in the air; head bobs in sitting; legs give way in supported standing

Three months Pushing up on elbows while on tummy; head is steadier; sits with less support; rolls back to side and tummy to side

Four months Head comes up with body when pulled to sit with fewer lags; able to sit up if helped

Five months Lifts head by self; brings feet to mouth; brings hands to feet; rolls from back to tummy; pushes up on arms while on tummy; sits with little support; stands with help

Six months Sits unsupported; stands with help; able to lift chest off floor while on tummy; rolling with leg starting first

Seven months Crawls forward on belly; able to turn body while on tummy; placing hands out to the side for balance in sitting

Eight months Beginning to turn with upper body in sitting; standing at the sofa; moves from tummy to sitting; beginning to crawl by self

Nine months Crawls by self; can sit for longer periods of time; may pull self to stand

Ten months Stands alone for brief seconds; takes steps with hand held; goes from lying on back to pulling to stand

Eleven months Reaches for furniture farther away; takes steps either direction while holding on to furniture

Twelve months Walks unsupported a few steps; stands alone; moving quickly on hands and knees

Fifteen months Begins to run; walks alone without falling; crawls up several steps; stoops to pick up toy; gets into standing without using hands

Eighteen months Runs unsteadily; able to jump in place; falls frequently;

able to get Into chairs without help

Twenty-four Runs better; kicks ball; stoop to pick up toys months (two years) without falling

Three years Able to ride tricycle; briefly balance on one foot; walk up stairs with alternating feet

Four years Hops on one foot; throws ball overhead

Five years Run on tiptoe; balances on foot

Six years Catches ball with accuracy; hits ball with bat; jumps with rope turned by others or self; walks on balance beam

Seven years Running smoothly; participates in sports

Eight years Swims crawl stroke with difficulty; riding bike well

Nine years More coordinated motor movements

Ten years Boys more speed and accuracy than girls; Increase in muscle mass for greater strength

Eleven years Boys and girls differ greatly in motor abilities

Twelve years Large growth spurt beginning; more clumsy and uncoordinated, especially for boys

Thirteen years Motivation to participate in vigorous activities which challenge body

Sixteen years More coordinated and better control over body;

participate in team sports

Hands are closed; visually watching objects; grasp reflex present

Grasp reflex; holds hands together; holds rattle when placed in hands for a few seconds; hands more open Begins swiping at objects, beginning to look from hand to object; hands clasped together at center of body

Shakes and plays with rattle In hands; puts fingers in mouth; holds on to dangling toy; begins reaching for toys

Pulls down a suspended ring; picks up a small toy or spoon; begins to hold toys with two hands

Begins to reach with one hand; able to hold own bottle; able to pick up dropped object

Plays with paper; holds one cube and takes another; pulls out peg from pegboard; beginning to move toy from one hand to the other hand

Shakes toys; picks up small toy using the side of index finger and thumb; releases toys from hand; reach and grasp toy with one attempt

Begins to show preference for dominant hand; begins to use finger and thumb to pick up small objects

Begins to poke holes using index finger; hits toys with spoon; drinks from a cup; begins to roll ball

Pulls string to get toy; holds crayons to make marks; using finger and thumb to pick up very small objects

Bangs objects together; drops object Into cup; marks with pencil; attempts to stack blocks; turns many pages of a book at a time

Scribbles with crayon after demonstration; unwraps toy; holds three cubes; inserts round shape into puzzle board

Turning pages one or two at a time; builds three to four block towers; places toys into container; scribbles Builds six block tower; turn pages one at a time; turns doorknob, imitates circular and vertical strokes

Copies a circle design; recognizes reversals in puzzle pieces; cuts across paper with scissors; places objects In small openings; stacks nine block towers Cuts out picture using scissors; copies circle and cross Print a few capital letters; establish hand dominance; begin to tie shoes

Cuts out more complex picture with scissors; writing more controlled; established handedness Hands steadier; letters smaller

Individual finger movements more precise (learn musical instrument)

Printing more uniforms; beginning cursive writing; increased strength In fingers

Hand size grows; increase In hand strength, grip, and function

Able to produce complex and intricate movements with hands

Continue to perform more advanced hand skills; able to manipulate small buttons for video games well

Begin showing interest in using hands for crafts, vocational and academic skills

Continue to use hands to learn skills such as typing or other vocational tasks

SOURCE: Information for tables modified from: Anne V. Gormly, and David M. Brodzinsky. Life Span Human Development. Sixth Edition. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1996; Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (Early LAP) Birth to Thirty-Six Months. Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, 1988 and 1995; "Including Your Child. Appendix A: Developmental Progress Chart." In the Illinois State Board of Education's Child Find [web site]. Illinois, 2000. Available from http:// www.ed/gov/pubs/parents/Including/develop.html; INTERNET; "Developmental Milestones." In the University of Maryland Medicine [web site]. Maryland, 2000. Available from; INTERNET; Jane Case-Smith, and Susan Shortridge Denegan. "The Developmental Process." In Jane Case-Smith, Anne S. Allen, and Pat Nuse Pratt eds., Occupational Therapy for Children. Third Edition. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1996.

decide whether intervention is needed and also to guide goal setting and outcome measurement.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Single Parenting

Single Parenting

Finally! You Can Put All Your Worries To Rest! You Can Now Instantly Learn Some Little-Known But Highly Effective Tips For Successful Single Parenting! Understand Your Role As A Single Motherfather, And Learn How To Give Your Child The Love Of Both Parents Single Handedly.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment