Motor Incoordination

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Motor Incoordination is a serious motor skills developmental disorder that affects the everyday lives of children everywhere. In fact, it has been noticed and recorded in 5-6% of school-aged children with others who are excluded from this statistic. Additionally, boys have more than a 2:1 chance of struggling with this disorder than girls do. Some studies have even shown that they are 5 times as likely to undergo this disorder (See

What Exactly Is Motor Incoordination?
Technically, Motor Incoordination is not neurologically or even medically diagnosed because there are no underlying reasons for the child’s motor skills difficulties. Rather, it is a delay in the developmental process of being able to perform daily tasks that require motor skills. A child could think he knows how to perform a task, but simply be unable to operate his/her body to do the task effectively.

What Are Some Characteristics of Having Motor Incoordination?
Motor Incoordination has an incredible variety of possible characteristics. A child can have difficulties with a very specific set of tasks or he/she can have a more general case of this developmental disorder. A general case could mean the child has trouble with many or most of his/her desired motor skills tasks. However, some important characteristics to look for include:

  1. frequent clumsy or awkward movements, such as bumping into things or not walking straight
  2. fine motor skills issues, such as tying a shoelace or handwriting
  3. learns very slowly how to ride a bike, throw a ball, or other childhood lessons
  4. child masters few motor skills, while struggling with many others
  5. child has poor balance

Why Does Motor Incoordination Happen?
There are a few steps in the process of completing a task. Obviously this all begins in the brain, where the thought of completing a task is established. In order to have this thought, he/she receives stimuli from the surrounding environment. Then the following procedure occurs:

  1. He considers what to do in response to the stimuli
  2. He decides on a plan to respond to the stimuli
  3. He coordinates his plan into his motor capabilities
  4. He sends his plan out to his body components
  5. His muscles attempt to complete the task at hand
  6. He receives feedback on what was done right and wrong and continues process again

Most of this procedure occurs within the blink of an eye. However, for children who have a developmental disorder with this type of motor coordination, it takes longer. The feedback is also not as crisp or understandable.

How Do You Help Motor Incoordination?
The first step in helping this disorder is identifying it. This demands the attention of parents, teachers, or friends/family to pick up on the child’s difficulty coordinating his/her movements. After noticing a pattern of issues with motor skills, he/she should constantly encourage physical participation as practice makes perfect. Also, the parent can guide the child with his/her fine motor skills and teach them how to perform such tasks, no matter how long it takes.

For professional guidance, a parent can bring their child to a physical therapist. With specific task-oriented lessons, mental tests, and facilities at hand, a therapist could be the answer for a child with motor incoordination. Additionally, a parent can make the school or specific teachers aware of this inability so they can help and not embarrass the child in the classroom.

At Bergen Pediatric Therapy we combine all of the therapies together with a   team centered approach by collaborating with physicians, therapists, and others involved in the child's care. Please call us or contact us to learn how we can help your child or schedule a complimentary evaluation of your child’s needs and free facility tour.

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Contact Info

Bergen Pediatric Therapy Center
354 Old Hook Road Suite LL-1
Westwood, NJ

(201) 722-4700

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