Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fine vs Gross Motor Skills part 2

In preparation for the program I am starting, this blog will focus on understanding how to improve gross motor skills. In the upcoming school year, I am organizing an after school program for students with disabilities to improve their fine and gross motor skills through various activities.
Gross motor skills are the larger movements that occur because of the large muscle groups in our bodies. “It is especially important that children with problems in academic achievement have sufficient proficiency in gross motor skills”.2
Here are a few areas that we will be focusing on:
  • Kicking and Striking. Improving skills such as kicking and striking will improve motor control as well as body control. Having these skills help the child be more active; and active lifestyle helps improve cognitive function. Also learning to run while kicking or striking opens more opportunities for games and more fun.
  • Throwing. Throwing a ball or other objects help increase strength in the upper body and the trunk. Enhancing strength in the trunk will also improve posture and balance.

  • Catching. Learning how to catch encompasses fine and gross motor skills, this is a win-win exercise for students with disabilities. Catching is a skill that is found in many PE activities and since school districts are inclusive, meaning that all of the kids are together, they need to have this skill to enjoy PE with their classmates.
    In conclusion there is “a positive relationship that was found between object-control skills and organized sports participation in intellectually challenged children”.2 Improving these skills will not only benefit these children in their PE classes but throughout their life as well.

1Westendorp, M., Hartman, E., Houwen, S., Smith, J., & Visscher, C. (2011). The relationship between gross motor skills and academic achievement in children with learning disabilities. Research in developmental disabilities, 32(6), 2773-2779.

2Westendorp, M., Houwen, S., Hartman, E., & Visscher, C. (2011). Are gross motor skills and sports participation related in children with intellectual disabilities?. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(3), 1147-1153.

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