Coordination problems can result from neurodevelopmental delays or musculoskeletal issues or a complex combination of factors including family history. Coordination problems can be very frustrating for a child because it makes it difficult to keep up with peers in the playground. Boys with coordination problems will often become the “joker” to divert attention from balance and coordination problems. Girls may avoid sport and take on more sedentary activities.
Children with coordination problems are often reported to have motor planning issues or dyspraxia, when the problem may actually be something much more simple and easily managed. In some cases a child with coordination issues may have no neurodevelopmental issues but rather muscular weakness and reduced core stability as a result of excessive flexibility (see Hypermobility Disorders). Thus it if you have concerns about your child's coordination, an assessment by a physiotherapist is helpful to determine the nature of the problem.
Some very simple principles and techniques can assist in retraining the brain to think about movement differently. Management includes developing core, postural and pelvic stability, implementing the “lock and load” principle and specific drills to facilitate improvement in gait, running and hand-eye (ball) skills. Early intervention is always beneficial but it is never too late to improve coordination. Many of the strategies can be implemented at home and incoorporated into normal family activity. The goal of Kidz Clinic Physiotherapy is to provide as many self help tools and ideas to families to be able to manage the issues at home.
The byproduct of improved coordination is almost always improved self esteem, increased activity levels and more interaction with their peers.