Motor skills allow the use of the skeletal muscles effectively. These vary in function and involve different parts of the body, including the joints, bones, nervous system, and brain. Motor skills are refined as people age, but sometimes they can also be hampered by certain disabilities, explains behavioral medicine professional Dr. Curtis Cripe.
Gross motor skills refer to skills acquired or learned as a baby until early childhood. For example, by the time a child turns two, they should be able to begin walking, climbing up the stairs, and running. Gross motor skills are developed throughout childhood and are refined as one grows older. In other words, they are integral to a person’s overall motor development.
Fine motor skills, on the other hand, have to do with the coordination of muscle movements in the body, like using the eyes, fingers, and hands properly. These skills involve being able to put on clothing, fasten buttons, or grasp small objects. They enhance the sense of body control, strength, and dexterity.
Both gross and fine motor skills are integral to the overall physical and mental development of any child. It is the duties of parents to aid their children in the development of their motor skills by providing activities that enhance them. At the same time, in instances in which parents detect delays, they can take their children to a neurologist to run specific motor-skill assessments, adds Dr. Curtis Cripe.
Dr. Curtis Cripe heads research and development at the NTL Group, which uses neuroengineering technology for treating various learning and memory disorders, neurodevelopmental delays, anxiety, and depression. More on Dr. Cripe and the NTL Group here.