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3 year old gross motor skills

(10 Posts)
FinnMcMissile Tue 06-Mar-18 21:51:36

DS is 3.5 and I'm worried about his gross motor skills, partly because he will be starting school in September and I'm concerned he won't be able to keep up with his peers. Recently we went to a birthday party of one of his preschool friends, and he was the only one unable to climb up the slide on the bouncy castle :-( I think he is somewhat behind for his age anyway, and this is then made worse by him being the youngest in his preschool class (August birthday).

He walked at 12 months, so I was never worried about his physical development, until I noticed maybe a year ago that other children were ahead of him. He has never been much of a climber, he only does the most simple parts of the climbing frame at the playground, although he will go up to the top of tall slides. He is not good at jumping, he can jump off the bottom stair at home, and that is about it. I take him to a play session at the local gymnastics centre sometimes, and while he generally has a good time, he avoids things like the trampoline, and tends to lower himself from up high rather than jumping down, even when there are big crash mats to land on. He has had a balance bike since his 2nd birthday, and is ok on it, but doesn't pick up much speed, can maybe go a fast walking pace. We take him swimming sometimes, and he can swim about 10m with his armbands on, and mostly doesn't need our help during a 30 minute swimming session. He still runs like a toddler.

I'm not really sure what to do about all this now. He generally resists whenever I try to encourage him to do something. I have signed him up for swimming lessons from Easter, but I'm not sure whether he will want to go. I'm not sure whether to also sign him up for a gymnastics class or Little Athletics.

Has anyone else been in a similar position, and what did you do that helped?

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FinnMcMissile Tue 06-Mar-18 21:52:33

Just to add, when I say he was unable to climb up the slide, I mean the climbing bit to get to the top of the slide, not climbing up the slide itself

OP’s posts: |
Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 07-Mar-18 20:10:40

Well if it is any comfort my DS is the same age and even worse! I asked our HV for a referral to a physio for assessment because he didn't seem to be hitting milestones. Physio confirmed he was on the slow side of average but wasn't particularly concerned - basically he's making normal progress just a bit slowly.

I don't really push him on physical activities that he struggles with as it seem counterproductive as he fets daunted and put off - I just follow his interests at his pace.

FinnMcMissile Wed 07-Mar-18 21:43:48

Hi Bubbins, thanks for your reply. It is reassuring to hear, but I'm sorry to hear you're going through it too. Can I ask what milestones you referred to? Did the physio suggest any activities to do?

I asked nursery today how he was getting on, and they said he was fine, but I know that the range of abilities expected for particular age groups is pretty wide. Like you, I also find that it can be counterproductive to push DS too much. After having a chat with DH last night, I don't think I will sign him up for anymore activities at this point. He starts swimming lessons at Easter, which is probably enough for now. I'm really hoping he gets on well with that as it's the one thing where he seems to give it a go and have fun. I think it would be really confidence building if he got something out of the lessons.

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Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 08-Mar-18 10:32:01

I completed the 'ages and stages' questionnaire for his age (the ones HVs use for routine age checks) and he wasn't really ticking many of the boxes for gross motor skills.

Here's the one for 3.5 years:

www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=99689&type=Full&servicetype=Attachment

I've just looked at it for my DS and he's caught up a bit as he can now do most of the things on the list (he still generally tackles stairs with both feet on each step though!).

I know there's a big range of normal and although I've been a bit concerned I think he's getting there at his own pace. My biggest concerns have been school readiness skills like being able to put on clothes by himself which he is just starting to master. At the moment he doesn't notice the difference with his peers and I'm hoping he'll catch up a bit before it starts to bother him.

FinnMcMissile Thu 08-Mar-18 13:13:57

Thanks, I've just had a look and he can definitely do two of these, but not sure about the others. I'll have to try and get him to do some this weekend.

Is your DS starting school in December? I think this is my biggest concern in all of this, as I just want him to be able to keep up with the other kids enough to join in at playtime.

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MiaowTheCat Thu 08-Mar-18 21:04:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FinnMcMissile Thu 08-Mar-18 22:47:44

Thanks miaow. I don't know a lot about dyspraxia aside from what I've read the last couple of days, but I haven't had any concerns about any other aspects of DS's development. He can be a bit clumsy, but then I guess a lot of 3 year olds are.

Interestingly, I just showed DH the 42 month questionnaire, and for once he seemed to understand my concerns rather than brushing me off as being over anxious. So the plan is to try and score DS on the questionnaire, and if he scores badly I'll need to talk to nursery and the HV. Tbh, nursery annoy me a bit. When I asked them how he was doing, they said absolutely fine, we've no worries about him at all. It makes me worry they don't pay attention, because even if he is within the bounds of normal development, it's very obvious that he's pretty far behind his peers and I'm not sure why they wouldn't acknowledge that to me.

Sorry to hear that your DD has had a tough time settling into school. DS could be in a similar situation as he is not at the local preschool, but I'm hoping there will be enough children in a similar position that it won't matter.

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MiaowTheCat Fri 09-Mar-18 07:23:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bubbinsmakesthree Fri 09-Mar-18 11:34:10

Oh your poor DD Miaow it is sad they are cliquey at such a young age. I hope she remains happy and things get less cliquey. Good luck with the diagnosis.

I have wondered about dyspraxia with my DS but he doesn't appear to have any related issues - things like sequencing he's actually really good with. He's quite cautious with his movements, I dont know if he is cautious because he struggles or he struggles because he is cautious IYSWIM.

The ASQ questionnaire is helpful but it can be a bit of a blunt tool - for instance the ability to climb a slide is on the 42mo questionnaire for the first time, it's not listed at earlier ages. DS has been able to climb a slide since he was 2 but still can't take stairs one foot at a time and that one is on the 30mo list!

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