The Rant: Development of the Whole Child, Part Three

In part two in this series, I made some observations about movement being the foundation for attention and focus; about movement being the foundation of learning and about movement leading to being comfortable in the body and therefore giving the child the ability to be comfortable in the world.  Every movement is one that involves not only the motor system, but all  of the sensory systems (mainstream sources consider five senses, Waldorf Education considers twelve senses and neurologic research considers hundreds).  Rolling, for example, is a motor experience that can involve a high degree of pelvic movement and weight shifting on a motor level,  but also a sensory one where the visual, vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems are highly engaged.  Obviously cognition and motivation play a part as well.

We always wonder about children who skip developmental stages that are considered normal or “neurotypical”.  I did mention before, and it deserves mention again,  that each child has a unique footprint to his or her own  movement patterns, and asked readers to consider just the simple act of getting from laying on your stomach to sitting on the edge of your bed; it can be done in many different ways!

However, what if whole stages are skipped? One of my readers brought up her child who never really rolled well from being on the back to another position, and other readers have brought up children who skipped crawling.

These are questions with answers that must be observed carefully from within the child with the background question in one’s mind of “what does this developmental stage or action offer to the child?” and by observing what the child is doing in a holistic way and with love and interest.

Part of a way to look at this means asking ourselves, “What does the child gain by rolling (or by crawling on all fours or whatever the activity is)?  What is the child gaining by the way the child is doing this now?”  Again, I have mentioned in previous posts that some children come with special gifts and will not progress through these typical stages and whatever they experience out of a developmental sequence can be beneficial for them where they are functioning upon this earth.

I would like to address a few points particularly  about rolling and crawling.  Rolling is one of the motor skills that is Continue reading