A motor skill is a skill that requires an organism to utilize their skeletal muscles effectively in a goal directed manner. Motor skills and motor control depend upon the proper functioning of the brain, skeleton, joints, and nervous system. Most motor skills are learned throughout the lifespan and can be affected by disabilities. Motor development is the development of action and coordination of one's limbs, as well as the development of strength, posture control, balance, and perceptual skills.
Motor skills are divided into two parts:
- Gross motor skills include lifting one's head, rolling over, sitting up, balancing, crawling, and walking. Gross motor development usually follows a pattern. Generally large muscles develop before smaller ones. Thus, gross motor development is the foundation for developing skills in other areas (such as fine motor skills). Development also generally moves from top to bottom. The first thing a baby usually learns is to control is it eyes.
- Fine motor skills include the ability to manipulate small objects, transfer objects from hand to hand, and various hand-eye coordination tasks. Fine motor skills may involve the use of very precise motor movement in order to achieve an especially delicate task. Some examples of fine motor skills are using the pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger) to pick up small objects, cutting, coloring and writing, and threading beads. Fine motor development refers to the development of skills involving the smaller muscle groups.
Fine Motor Disabilities negatively impact a child's performance in school but have no bearing on their intellectual ability. It strictly speaks to an individual’s struggle to control the small muscles in their hand as they write. Since communication in the form of writing is important and still heavily relied upon in our society and schools, kids with this disability face a variety of obstacles. Simply writing their name is not only time consuming, it may also end up illegible. To make their work legible, these individuals must exert a great deal of focus and energy which leaves very little left over for concentrating on what they are writing about.
Disabilities affecting motor skills
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental Dyspraxia
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Section about motor learning and control in the Wikibook "Stuttering"