Gross motor delay occurs when a child does not reach developmental milestones at the expected times. Gross motor means the large muscles of the body that are used for large motor skills.

Gross motor delay can include delay in:

  • Walking
  • Crawling
  • Transitions
  • Rolling
  • Sitting
  • Jumping
  • Stair climbing
  • Running
  • Riding a bike
  • Other large motor skills

How are gross motor delays diagnosed?

Gross motor delays are most often diagnosed by a primary care physician or a pediatrician. A physical therapy evaluation may include assessment of muscle tone, functional mobility, strength, coordination, balance and sensory concerns as well as a gross motor assessment.


Common rehab treatment interventions:

If treatment is recommended, your child may receive any or all of the following treatments:

  • Stretching or strengthening exercises for tight or weak muscles
  • Therapeutic activities to facilitate motor skills
  • Balance and coordination exercises and/or activities
  • Gait training to assist in walking skills
  • Evaluation for shoe inserts or orthotics to assist in walking and balance
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