Child and Young Person Physical Development

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Physical Development

This is an extremely important area of a child's holistic (overall) development and one which all to often is assumed to happen automatically as the grow and mature. Although children can develop many of these skills naturally as they do get older, it is vitally important that they have the opportunities to develop them in a variety of ways and they will need support to achieve this. Physical development is the way in which the body increases in skill and becomes more complex in its performance.

Gross motor skills : These use the large muscles in the body and include; Walking, running, climbing and the like.

Fine motor skills : These include gross skills and fine skills. * Gross manipulative skills, involve single limb movements usually of the arm for example throwing , catching and making sweeping movements with the arm. * Fine manipulative skills, involve precise use of hands and fingers for example painting, drawing, using a knife and fork or chopsticks and writing. Physical development also includes sensory development. Sensation is the process by which we receive information through the senses. Vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste and proprioception. Proprioception is the sense that tells people where mobile parts of their bodies are, such as the arm and legs are in relation to the rest of the body.

0 - 3 years

This is a period of rapid physical development. New born babies have very little control over their bodies. Their movement are dependent on a series of reflexes, these movements are inborn. At 3 months these are replaced by voluntary responses as the brain takes control. For example the grasp reflex has to fade before babies can learn to hold objects placed in their hands. Primitive reflexes are important indicators of the health of the central nervous system of babies. If they persist after the expected time this could indicate...
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