Motor Development
Toggle Parents and Caregivers Menu

Motor Development

FASD Behaviours

  • Children with FASD may have difficulties with gross and fine motor skills development.
  • Children with deficits in gross motor skills will likely have trouble with physical coordination, hand-eye coordination, stability and balance, and body awareness.
  • Children with deficits in fine motor skills will likely have trouble with hand strength, grasp and manipulation of objects, and bilateral hand use.
  • These difficulties can make children with FASD seem clumsy, careless, or physically aggressive.


  • Plan physical activities: Activities where children can run, climb, jump, throw and catch balls, etc. can improve gross motor skills.
  • Encourage use of the hands: Fine motor skills can be improved through daily use of pencils, crayons, safety scissors, paint brushes, glue sticks, puppets, play dough, clay, blocks, etc.
  • Use modified materials such as non-slip mats under drawing paper, thick crayons, thick-handled paint brushes, soft pencil grippers, paper with extra-thick lines, stability balls or supportive chairs.
  • Provide ‘movement breaks’: Vary your child’s time between seated academic work or crafts and physical activity. This helps to keep the mind and body more alert.
  • Tasks to improve gross motor skill include: running, biking, skating, dancing, swimming, obstacle courses, playing ball games, sitting on a stability ball, going up and down stairs, skipping, and hula hooping.
  • Tasks to improve fine motor skill include: buttoning and unbuttoning, zippering clothing, tying shoes, holding utensils, writing, drawing, painting, cutting and pasting, rolling and kneading play dough, and sculpting clay.
Developmental Resource Centre Waterloo RegionSunbeam Centre