Why Do Some Children Have Problems with Gross Motor Activities?

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    Slowed Gross Motor Skills

    • A fairly small number of children enrolled in primary education experience degrees of gross motor skill dysfunction. Of these, even fewer demonstrate severe or complex problems that demand medical observation.

    Sometimes Time Heals

    • The less worrisome issues around slowed gross motor skills boil down to a child's sense of physical control of either individual parts of the body or the body as a whole. Children with a poor sense of physical control have issues with positioning and balancing their bodies. Often this is a case of poor or slow maturation, and once a child's muscle tone and strength increase, so too do his physical abilities.

    Ability Levels


    • More serious conditions regarding delayed gross motor skills could be caused by a central nervous system disorders, one of which is commonly known as apraxia. When a child is afflicted with this condition, she is unable to perform requested tasks or movements, even though she clearly acknowledges the instruction. This disorder is sometimes recognized at birth, but most often it becomes evident as a child grows and matures. The cause of apraxia is generally unknown in younger children, but in older individuals, it is usually attributed to various forms of brain damage, stroke, tumors or dementia.

    Central Nervous System Disorders

    • Hypotonia, another disorder of the central nervous system, is a condition defined by muscle weakness. A number of causes are ascribed to hypotonia, including genetic or muscular disorders. Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are among the frequent causes, along with the less familiar syndromes of myotonic dystrophy (a form of muscular dystrophy), and Marfan syndrome (a genetic disorder involving connective tissue). Sometimes hypotonia can be an isolated disorder and nonprogressive in nature. Some children diagnosed with a benign, congenital form of this condition may not experience any delay in their muscular coordination at all, while some kids will experience a definite delay in their gross motor skills.


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