When assessing and talking to you about child development, our team members may discuss the following areas as well as specific milestones; skills or area of concern that you may have.
Gross motor skills involve using the large muscles in our core, arms and legs to complete whole-body movements. This includes activities like standing, walking, running, climbing, throwing, catching and jumping. Gross motor skills involve balance, coordination, body awareness, strength and reaction time and form the basis of our fine motor muscle movements. Children use these skills to have successful experiences at school, on the playground, riding a bike or scooter, swimming, participating in sports and within the community.
Fine motor skills involve movements using the small muscles in our arms, hands and wrists. Fine motor skills are complex and involve gross motor skills, finger strength, dexterity, manipulation, body awareness and eye hand coordination. This includes activities like holding pencils, drawing, writing, using scissors, blocks, beads, craft and self-care skills like brushing teeth, getting dressed, doing buttons and shoelaces. Kids use these skills to do key work tasks in school, play and in everyday life.
Talking, language and understanding communication
Talking / speech skills are the ability to express language verbally and includes articulation which is the way sounds and words are formed. Kids have many ways of expressing themselves from looking at you; smiling, gurgling, saying mum/dad; individual words and sentences; to expressing and demanding their opinions. Language and understanding how to use it is the entire system of giving and getting information. It is understanding and being understood in a meaningful way, with verbal, nonverbal and written forms of communication. Children use these skills every day and is the key to learning and developing social skills required in daily life.
Social and emotional
Social and emotional skills are a child’s ability to understand their own and the feelings of others; control his or her own feelings and behaviours; get along with other children and build relationships with adults. These may also include learning to wait; take turns; ask for help; understand complex instructions; cooperate; pay attention; play with others; play team games; have friendships and positive health, everyday interactions and relationships.
Cognitive skill development involves the progressive building of learning skills, such as attention, memory and thinking. These crucial skills enable children to process sensory information and eventually learn to evaluate, analyze, remember, make comparisons and understand cause and effect. Although some cognitive skill development is related to a child’s genetic makeup, most cognitive skills are learned. That means thinking and learning skills can be improved with practice and the right training.