Fine motor development
Fine motor skills are dependent on good vision. Therefore fine motor skills are usually assessed alongside visual development.
·A newborn infant will fix and follow a near face or light moving across the field of view.
·By 6wks infant is more alert and will turn the head through 90° to follow an object.
·By 3–4mths a baby will spend a lot of time watching their hands (i.e. hand regard).
Note: Some infants may demonstrate an intermittent squint. Fixed squints and all those persisting beyond the 8-week check must be referred to an ophthalmologist.
As the primitive grasp reflex starts to decrease infants will start to reach for objects.
· grip is usually with the whole palm (palmar grasp);
· holds objects with both hands and will bang them together;
· transfers objects between hands.
·By 10mths infant is developing a pincer grip using thumb and first finger.
·By 12mths infant will use index finger to point to objects.
Fine motor skills can be assessed with pencil control and with building bricks (Table 15.1).