How coordination can encompass your child's with every area of learning and play at school and home!
Coordination is the ability to use our body in the way we want to attain a desired outcome. This definitely utilises some big brain control and consciousness however there are very important elements of the lower brain that help us move and control our bodies in ways that make us uniquely human.
A large part of coordinating our bodies in the way we want to comes from the cerebellum. This is the ‘little brain’ at the back of the head.
This very clever part of our nervous system is always working to help us control our movements, keep our balance and use our limbs and hands for fine-motor tasks.
Good coordination thanks to cerebellar function is another foundational aspect of development and sets a child up to be able to use their body effectively to perform skills required for class and play. It’s the part of the brain that helps us connect together all the small movements needed to form more complex tasks and skills.
When this system is working well we see good motor control, spatial awareness, balance between left and right sides and the top and bottom half of the body, and the ability to predict where the body is going (the target) and adapt if the target or environment changes.
Is your child's cerebellum firing well?
when we see good coordination of skills like climbing, running, hopping and skipping or tasks like pencil grip for writing or drawing, doing up buttons or zippers and tooth or hair brushing.
Another important skill seen when the cerebellum is working well is the ability to move quickly and maintain posture if a sudden oncoming object appears (ball, other child, wall etc). This is really important in the classroom and playground!
How can I tell if my child's cerebellum is NOT firing well?
Poor coordination and cerebellar control may cause:
- A child may seem clumsy
- Always tripping over
- They bump into things a lot.
- They might struggle with hand eye coordination
- Be unable to ride a bike, and be tentative to climb or challenge their movements beyond a ‘safe’ level.
- Fine motor tasks might be tricky and the child might prefer a caregiver to complete dressing and tooth brushing.
- Pencil grip may be younger than age-appropriate if a child is having trouble with hand and arm coordination.
Coordination and control of the body allows a child to feel confident that they can move and perform tasks and skills in the way they want to. The ability to use their body in functional ways in class and play will facilitate compliance and engagement in school activities.
A child that is sure they can do what is asked of them for writing, fine motor skills, basic self care and sport or exercise is a child that feels confident, capable, safe and ultimately, happy to learn and play!
If you have any questions about your child’s coordination you can book in a free 15 minute phone consultation with me, Dr Amanda, to find out how you can support your child.