Studies prove

Effects of motor underdevelopment

Numerous studies conducted around the world in the last 20 years demonstrate the impact of motor underdevelopment in all areas of life, for example language, school and social life as a child and later as an adult.


Linguistic weaknesses

Motor and language skills are closely linked. Children with motor developmental disabilities often have difficulty with fine motor movements required for articulation and mouth movements, which can lead to speech delays. In addition, limited motor skills can hinder interaction with the environment and social exchange, thereby reducing language learning opportunities.

Study proves

Problems at school

Delayed motor development can affect academic performance as children have difficulty with fine motor tasks such as writing and crafts. In addition, motor deficits can negatively impact self-confidence and active participation in class, leading to general declines in academic performance.


Social isolation

Delays in motor development can affect a child's social life as they may have difficulty participating in games and activities, leading to social isolation. This can lower self-esteem and increase the risk of developing social and emotional problems such as anxiety and depression.

The earlier the better

Early intervention is important

Early support for motor development is crucial as it forms the basis for many other areas of development such as cognitive, language and social skills. Through targeted interventions, developmental delays can be identified and mitigated in a timely manner, which in the long term leads to better school performance and social integration. In addition, good motor development strengthens children's self-confidence and promotes their active participation in everyday life and in the community.

Parents can do that

Lots of exercise helps

Regular playful activities in everyday life are essential to promote children's motor development as they offer natural and fun learning opportunities. Through play and movement, children develop their gross and fine motor skills, which lays the foundation for later complex motor and cognitive tasks. In addition, playful activity promotes social interaction and self-confidence as children communicate and cooperate with each other during play.


Piek, JP, Bradbury, GS, Elsley, SC, & Tate, L. (2008). “Motor Coordination and Social–Emotional Behavior in Preschool‐aged Children”. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 55(2), 143-151.

Sugden, Chambers (2005). “Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder”. Whurr Publishers.

Smyth, Anderson (2000). “Coping with clumsiness in the school playground: social and physical play in children with coordination impairments.” British Journal of Development Psychology. Education, Psychology, Medicine. 

Bart et al. (2007). “Predicting school adjustment from motor abilities in kindergarten”. Infant and Child Development 16(6):597-615. Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/icd.514

Gueze RH, Jongmans MJ, Schoemaker MM, Smits-Engelsman BC. “Clinical and research diagnostic criteria for developmental coordination disorder: a review and discussion”. Hum Mov Sci. 2001 Mar;20(1-2):7-47. doi: 10.1016/s0167-9457(01)00027-6. PMID: 11471398.

Zwicker JG, Missiuna C, Harris SR, Boyd LA. “Developmental coordination disorder: a review and update”. Eur J Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Nov;16(6):573-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PMID: 22705270.

Heineman KR, Middelburg KJ, Hadders-Algra M. Development of adaptive motor behavior in typically developing infants. Acta Paediatr. 2010 Apr;99(4):618-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01652.x. Epub 2009 Dec 24. PMID: 20050831.

Cameron CE, Brock LL, Murrah WM, Bell LH, Worzalla SL, Grissmer D, Morrison FJ. Fine motor skills and executive function both contribute to kindergarten achievement. Child Dev. 2012 Jul-Aug;83(4):1229-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01768.x. Epub 2012 Apr 26. PMID: 22537276; PMCID: PMC3399936.

Logan SW, Robinson LE, Wilson AE, Lucas WA. Getting the fundamentals of movement: a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children. Child Care Health Dev. 2012 May;38(3):305-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01307.x. Epub 2011 Sep 1. PMID: 21880055.

Fedewa AL, Ahn S. The effects of physical activity and physical fitness on children's achievement and cognitive outcomes: a meta-analysis. Res Q Exercise Sport. 2011 Sep;82(3):521-35. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2011.10599785. PMID: 21957711.