Do I have an awkward child?
Sally S. Harris, M.D., MPH
My child runs awkwardly and more slowly than other children his/her age. Should I be concerned about this? What activities would be best for him/her?
In most cases the cause is simply a temporary delay in motor skill development. Your child is probably progressing through the stages of motor skill development more slowly than other children his or her age. Like other developmental milestones, the rate at which children master motor skills is highly variable. Your child should ultimately catch up to his peers and experience no long-term disadvantage.
In a minority of cases, poor motor skills may be due to an underlying physical condition or learning disability, which can be evaluated by your doctor. In the meantime, your child will probably have the best experience in activities that do not require complex motor skills, such as walking, cycling and swimming, individual rather than team sports, noncompetitive physical activities and participation with younger children whose skills may be of an equivalent level.