It's a common trend in schools across the country: physical education classes are being cut and recess hours reduced. Young children are increasingly expected to sit still at their desks for entire school days. Even at home kids often spend hours each day in front of a television, computer, or phone. This is happening even as more and more research shows just how important movement is to the developing child, and how development can be stunted when children don't learn to move correctly.
What many parents don't realize is that movement skills and mental skills grow together. Each is affected by, and dependent on, the other. For example, the earliest signs of an autism spectrum disorder are often abnormal movement skills. These often include things like incorrect crawling patterns, and this is why it is so important to make sure your child is meeting their milestones.
However, movement is a concern even for children who seem to be developing normally. While frequency of physical activity is very important, scientific studies have also linked the quality of movement skills to increased academic performance as well as improved mental health. That's why it is also crucial to have your child's movement patterns evaluated. Kids in our office are always checked to be sure that their movements are progressing normally. When faulty movements are found, exercises can be given to teach your child the proper movements, ensuring that their development continues normally and they develop the skills they need to thrive. This goes for children in school as well as infants who are have trouble rolling, crawling or walking.