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Motor skills


Gross motor skills
Require whole body movement – everyday activities such as standing, walking, running, climbing, riding a bike or scooter

Fine motor skills
Require using the small muscles in the fingers, hands and forearms – picking up items, writing and drawing

Eye hand coordination refers to the ability to coordinate vision with movement

How might the person with FASD be affected

Problems with fine motor skills include: holding a pen and writing, using scissors and doing up buttons and laces

Problems with gross motor skills include: trouble learning to ride a bike, trouble coordinating arms and legs when running, falling over more commonly than other kids

Floppy or stiff limbs

Delayed skills e.g. picking up and stacking blocks in a tower, making duplo or lego models

Tips for managing these difficulties

Help the person participate in activities they like such as football, bowling, swimming, dancing, playing the drums

Plan fun physical activities and play with the child  – activities do not need to be formal sessions in a therapy room

Lead by example and show the child how to do the activity by breaking the activity into parts e.g. catching a ball- how to hold hands, where to look, what to do when ball hits the hand

Remember the language and memory strategies when teaching them new skills

Encourage a child to use their hands – e.g. daily use of pencils, puppets, play dough

Help with tasks such as doing up buttons, tying shoe laces – it may take many children with FASD longer to learn and they will need to repeat the activity more frequently and for a longer period of time. Practice on toys that have clothes and shoes, own items of clothing not being worn

Be aware of the persons attention span e.g. they may only be able to do the activity for a shorter period of time compared to other children the same age

Provide breaks between activities


RETURN TO: Common difficulties and tips