Understanding infant perceptual motor development

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Two important ideas
Central to dynamic systems thinking about perceptual-motor development

1   Infants learn through experience when actively engaging with the social and physical environment

2  Behaviour and experience is always complex


Observation activity 

Watch this video of Max at 9 weeks (CA 3 weeks) and jot down your observations:

Note anything that strikes you as interesting about:

  • Max’s behaviour and interaction with the social and physical environment
  • My  behaviour and actions


Implications for intervention?

What is your job as therapist?

What skills do you already have?


Perceptual-motor  assessment and intervention starts with careful and detailed observation

•Trust your abilities to observe the details of what is happening

•Be comfortable with uncertainty and hypothesize possible reasons for what you observe – keep an open mind

•Test your hypotheses and explore options – get help from mentor if needed


Four Important Ideas About Development

1  Infants learn from active experience

Infants will actively engage in perceptual-motor activities when they are alert, interested, willing to engage and feel safe.

   W 5w swipe 3.jpg     W 9m reach down topple 1.jpg

Feeling safe

Successful therapy starts with building a relationship with the infant, winning their trust and creating a safe environment.