Motor planning is a skill which I had the privilege to learn about on my fieldwork one placement, working in a CDS paediatric team.
Motor planning or praxis is the ability of the brain to conceive, organize, and carry out a sequence of unfamiliar actions.
Therefore Motor Planning is a skill we all have that allows us to complete new tasks that we have not done before by watching the task be completed then copying it. In children motor planning can be effected by sensory integration disorders which can cause the child to have difficulty in all new tasks that they attempt in life. Due to this the child may appear to not be developing correctly as they are unable to learn new activities at the spend of a child that does not have sensory integration problems.
For a child who has minimal motor skills a new task, one which may seem so easy for us now that we have completed it numerous times, could be the most difficult task for them to master. You may be thinking that giving clear instructions to explain a task as you go would help overcome this problem. However then the child would no longer be using motor planning, they would have switched into using cognition which is a different skill to motor planning.
Motor planning can have an effect on every motor skill task that we do. Form walking, running, co-ordination of balls/ balloons and much much more.Following this write there are five youtube clips. Each clip presents a range of motor skills that can be learnt or be effected by motor planning and motor skill development.
This clip explain how sensory information can effect a child's ability do develop motor skills. This is only one case, every case presents differently.
This short clip is of a child with difficulty with co-ordination which is effected by motor planing development. This shows how difficult a simple task of catching a ball can be.
This clip shows a child moving through an obstetrical course. This task requires motor planning to co-ordinate through the course and is a task that is very difficult to do if a child has motor planning problems
This clip is of an OT who works in paediatrics and discusses how he assess sensory development and its effects on children's development
this clip is of a group of children using motor planning skills to co-ordinate balloons and their play in the gym