Pediatric Gross Motor Development

26 May 2021Physical Therapy

As a parent, knowing whether or not your child is developing appropriately can be scary and stressful.

Although a child will see their pediatrician every month in the first few months and then frequently throughout the first year of life, there can still be many questions. Many parents expect the pediatrician to assess every aspect of their child's systems, but many pediatricians are occupied with general screens that mostly look at growth and overall well being, rather than in depth gross motor development. The limited time a pediatrician has to spend observing and interacting with the child can contribute to small dysfunctions being missed or questions being unanswered until a referral is needed for a more glaring concern. Unfortunately many parents report being told to “wait and see” which is then accompanied by a lack of true follow up or monitoring, adding additional anxiety to a parent's concerns. 


Between 10% and 15% of children will have some type of motor delay that may impact their adolescent and adult potential.

Therefore the “wait and see” approach should no longer be the explanation for waiting to address a child’s gross motor development, regardless of the severity. With early detection or a few targeted exercises, those delays can be minimized before even becoming a problem. By offering pediatric gross motor screens in the first year of life, it is not our intent to step on the toes of pediatricians, but rather work alongside them by providing education and a method for early prevention as well as just helping parents who have no idea how to incorporate play into a young child’s life feel a little more equipped and confident.


Every child develops at their own rate, but sometimes some extra support or monitoring is needed along the way.

A gross motor screen will look at the child’s development, answer any questions about motor development, and provide any tips for promoting development. These screens are meant to be low stress while providing helpful tips to parents. Awareness and early prevention are key and we hope to bring light to that through these screens.