Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Gross Motor Skills

  • Gianluca Esposito
  • Giacomo Vivanti
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_179-3


Gross motor abilities entail the use of large muscle groups that coordinate body movements to perform activities such as maintaining balance, walking, sitting upright, jumping, throwing objects, etc. Gross motor skills are acquired during infancy and early childhood as part of a child’s motor development and continue to be refined throughout most of the individual’s years of development into adulthood. Factors that contribute to the ability and the rate that children develop their gross motor skills include both genetic and environmental influences.

The development of gross motor abilities occurs in the motor cortex, the region of the cerebral cortex that controls voluntary muscle groups.

The development of motor autonomy is the infant’s main task in the first year of life. The process can be described as a series of distinct stages, where mastering each stage prepares the infant’s progression to the next one. At the beginning of each stage, movement is characterized by a...


Autism Spectrum Disorder Motor Skill Motor Impairment Motor Development Motor Autonomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversityWakoSingapore
  2. 2.A.J. Drexel Autism InstituteDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of TrentoRoveretoItaly