Sensory Motor Deficits

Also known as: sensory and motor deficits, developmental disorders, sensory and motor disorders.

What are sensory motor deficits?

Sensory and motor development is the process whereby a child gains use and coordination of his/her muscles of the trunk, arms, legs and hands (motor development), and begins to experience (through sensory input) the environment through sight, sounds, smell, taste and hearing.

Motor development follows a general pattern that most babies/ infants/ children will follow. When motor function/movement/coordination ability fall outside of a wide range for normal, motor delay/deficit/tics describes the abnormality.

Sensory deficits is a general medical terms that encompasses a wide arrange of symptoms which can include difficulties with one sense like touch or taste or multiple senses.

Many developmental or learning disorders, include difficulties with motor function like delayed sitting, crawling and walking, catching a ball, dancing, playing sports, with difficulty with fine motor skills like writing clearly, and with either hyper responsiveness or unresponsiveness to external stimuli have difficulty with understanding, tolerating and participating in a normal life environment.

Autism, apraxia, Tourette’s and many other disorders, each one having their own characteristic presentation typify some of these issues.


What causes sensory motor deficits? 

Environmental, intrauterine and genetic factors contribute to poor motor function as do a wide variety of brain insults that may occur during childhood.

The cause of the brain abnormality that gives rise to sensory processing difficulties is not known however twin studies suggest a genetic component.


What are the symptoms of sensory motor deficits? 

Sensory motor deficits can take a variety of different forms. Children with sensory processing disorders will be hard to have a conversation or play with; symptoms fall into difficulties interpreting and reacting normally to the environment around them. Motor problems describe the symptoms associated with muscle development, body movements, motor coordination and fine motor skills. Abnormal repetitive movements called “tics” may also be part of the motor abnormalities found.


What are sensory motor deficit care options? 

These disorders cannot be cured, but supportive/therapeutic measures in the form of medications and various forms of rehabilitation therapy can improve overall daily function for many of these children.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/15/2018 8:11:11 AM

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