Tests for Motor Skills for Physical Therapy

Motor skills disorder affects coordination of muscle movements in the body. Common assessments used by professionals diagnose specific awkward body movements, clumsiness, poor motor coordination, and weak muscles. Diagnostic assessments are guides for creating physical therapy treatment plans.

  1. Developmental Coordination

    • A common test for diagnosing motor skills disorder, according to Maria Wilms Floet, MD, is the Development Coordination Disorder Four. This assessment measures motor performance skills children should demonstrate at distinct ages, such as walking or sitting. It is typical with marked delays in motor coordination for children to frequently drop objects, fall when standing, and demonstrate awkward body movements.

    Hand-Eye Coordination

    • This assessment Development Test of Visual-Motor skills, according to Reepa K. Sanghavi, MD, determines problems in hand-eye coordination. Normally, the eyes focus on an object first before the hands move to pick up an object. The eyes send movement information to the hands. When hand and eye movements are not coordinated, it is difficult to catch and throw, as well as grasp, grab, pick up and hold objects.

    Motor Planning

    • The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, according to Maria Wilms Floet, MD, analyzes motor planning and sequencing body movement difficulties. Normal motor planning is the ability to think out a strategy for a particular action such as successfully climbing up a steep slide avoiding obstacles. Delayed motor planning exhibits odd strategies such as climbing up or down stairs without alternating footsteps. An example of a potential red flag is a child using the same foot first for climbing each step, instead of using left-right footsteps for each stair, which might indicate motor sequencing problems.

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