Motor planning is the ability of the brain to conceive, organize and carry out a series of unfamiliar actions. It is an essential aspect in new skill acquisition. Efficient motor planning requires accurate information from all the sensory systems of the body and the coordination of the different body parts to reach a desired goal.
In the absence of any specific motor weakness, motor planning problems are characterised by an inability to perform smooth, coordinated, purposeful movements. Problems in motor planning can affect many areas of a child’s ‘occupations’. Academically a child may fall behind as they lack the ability to follow learning routines or to independently problem solve. A child with difficulties motor planning may appear clumsy as they are unable to move their body in a coordinated way.
When you have difficulty successfully doing the things that are expected of you, it can cause feelings of frustration, sadness or anger. A child may choose to avoid tasks all together, hence looking ‘lazy’. As a result of this, a child may developed avoidant strategies and behaviors. These may look like negotiation, verbal protesting, emotional manipulation, removing themselves from the situation or an explosive tantrum. Ultimately a child is communicating through their behaviour that the task is too difficult.
This is when successful task completion and confidence building is important.
As an Occupational Therapist, this is a central theme to the therapy that I provide.
For more information visit www.liveactiveclinic.com.au
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