Children's co-ordination and developmental movement difficulty
During typical development, experience and maturation interact to influence the development of musculoskeletal and neuromotor systems, which enable children's motor skills to improve with increasing age. It is conventional to see the development of movement skill co-ordination as age-related but not age-determined. This aspect is highlighted in the typical variation for learning motor skills and the individual differences in motor performance of any group of same-aged children. However, there are some children who exhibit difficulty co-ordinating their movement and for whom learning fine and gross motor skills is very hard. For some, such children are seen to have a delay in motor development; however, as this chapter will clarify, it is our view that the developmental pathway of these children is different compared to their typically developing peers. The interaction between the child, the environment, and culturally demanding motor tasks contributes to the difference in developmental outcome. This chapter presents a review of literature including examples from our research into the problems experienced by children with co-ordination difficulties. We present information on the differences in motor abilities, the effects associated with other constraints affecting skill development, and differences in functional skill performances. The last section is directed towards the practical application of this knowledge to intervention and discusses the importance of early intervention in shaping the child's own developmental pathway, and the different intervention models, including our task-based model, that have been used in the physical education and therapy domains.
Parker, H. E., & Larkin, D. (2003). Children's co-ordination and developmental movement difficulty. In G. Savelsbergh, H. Davids, J. van der Kamp & S. J. Bennett (Eds.), Development of movement co-ordination in children (pp. 107-132). New York, NY; Routledge.