Screening baby motor skills development – that is, identifying delays in skills like crawling and holding on to things with the hands – may be a critical step in ensuring that children get the additional help they may need in preschool.
Researchers for the new Millennium Cohort Study conducted in at the Institute of Education at the University of London found an association between failure to hit gross and fine motor skill milestones and behavior and cognitive development concerns at age five.
Additional help in preschool, which children are generally enrolled in at from age 3 to 5, may help kids with delays catch up to other kids by kindergarten.
From the press release sent out about the study this week: "We found that delay in gross and fine motor development in a child's first year – which affects about one in ten children – was significantly associated with delayed cognitive development at age 5. Delay in gross motor development also has a significant impact on the child's behavioral adjustment at 5. This additional finding confirms the importance of screening for developmental delay before the first birthday."