Gross Motor Skills 




Gross Motor Outcomes of Children Born Prematurely in Northern Ontario and Followed by a Neonatal Follow-Up Programme 

The developing brain of a premature infant is vulnerable to injury. As a result, the long-term consequences of a premature birth include motor deficits, cognitive and behavioural problems.

The majority of children assessed were found to have gross motor outcomes in the average range however, it is important to periodically monitor premature children. Identify any motor dysfunction during the preschool period is crucial because it interferes with a child's ability to explore the world.


Gross motor skills involve whole body movements, especially those involving the arms and legs and torso, often these are related to core strength. Gross motor skills continue to improve into the teenage years, especially for those who are active. In particular, adolescent boys rapidly gain physical speed, jumping strength, throwing strength, and endurance throughout adolescence, often even into their early 20's. Physical activity, including playing sport will help teenagers to continue to mature as they become better able to move their bodies with greater skill and precision.

It is important to remember that teenagers may appear clumsy, though this is not necessarily a sign of a gross motor problem. The main reason for this clumsiness is that they are growing very fast. A teenagers' legs can grow 1cm a month during a growth spurt, causing their brain to have to recalculate calculations about their movements, thus causing them to appear awkward and clumsy.


If you have concerns over your teenager’s gross motor abilities, then a physiotherapist may be able to help. It is important to approach this subject with your teen in a compassionate, discrete, and caring way.

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].