What is Bilateral Coordination?
Bilateral coordination is the use of both sides of the body together to perform a task. This can mean using the two sides of the body for the same action (like using a rolling pin) or using alternating movements (like climbing stairs). The practice of using both the right and left sides of the body together is important for activities such as: writing, cutting, typing, throwing and catching a ball, riding a bicycle, and most academic and gross motor activities.
What are some symptoms of poor bilateral coordination?
Poor bilateral coordination skills can include: a child not crawling as a baby, a child beginning to walk at a late age, clumsy motor skills and poor rhythm (not being able to keep a beat). You may also notice a child not establishing a hand dominance (i.e. right-handedness or left-handedness) at 4-5 years of age.
How does poor bilateral coordination affect my child?
Children with poor bilateral coordination are at risk of performing poorly in school activities such as art and other fine motor activities. They also may lag behind in gym class and other sports-related activities. Hence, early intervention is key to achieving success!
How can I help treat my child’s poor bilateral coordination?
Bilateral coordination can be facilitated by any activity that utilizes both the right and left arms and/or legs working together to complete a task. This can include clapping games, playing two-handed musical instruments such as symbols, practicing tearing and cutting objects, galloping, riding a bicycle, and tossing a ball.
Our approach to bilateral coordination at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
We use a multi-disciplinary approach involving both an occupational and physical therapist to meet your child’s needs. With our energetic team of therapists and specialized equipment, we will set up an individualized program to produce results for your child! A home exercise program will also be implemented to allow your child to practice, demonstrate, and utilize his/her newly developed skills at home and school.