Motor Skills

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Your baby's fine motor development is crucial. He/she needs to learn to use his/her hands well in order to manipulate toys and to acquire self-help skills such as feeding and dressing. Babies who have good vision explore their environments from the very beginning by using their sight. They learn to coordinate their eye and hand movements so that they can soon manipulate a variety of toys and use their hands well. The beginning of "reaching" occurs with a baby's eyes. Babies who are blind or visually impaired must learn to coordinate the movements of their hands and arms with their hearing. They need to learn to use their hands in ways which will be functional, motivating and enjoyable. Your baby will need extra practice and many, many opportunities to learn to use his/her hands. Babies who do not use their hands for motivating and useful activities may begin to develop behaviors such as hand or finger flicking or tapping on a surface. Hands which are "busy" playing with toys are less likely to be used for self-stimulatory behaviors. Play is a child's "work." Babies and young children need to have plenty of opportunities to play. Those who are blind or visually impaired need to be shown how to play with toys; they need to get satisfaction from their play so that they will be motivated to continue to explore and play. The goal is for them to get as much information as possible through their hands and to take that information and use it in meaningful ways. All fine motor activities (i.e., braille, writing, hand writing, eating, dressing, etc.) are built upon four important skills. These four skills must be learned before a child can go on to more complicated tasks. They are: * Grasping objects

* Reaching out to objects
* Releasing objects deliberately
* Turning the wrist in various directions
The connection between weight bearing and learning to use one's hands is very important. Weight bearing gives the kind of feedback that makes the baby...
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