Gillette Motor Delay Clinic physicians Nicole Williams-Doonan and Marcie Ward are keen to offer their expertise, especially when it means earlier treatment for children who have motor delay or regression.

Identifying motor development issues early on is highly beneficial to a child’s health and well-being, as early treatment can make a big difference to the child’s further development and quality of life. Early intervention means earlier education, observation, therapy, and partnership with a medical team, all of which benefits the child.

“No discussion or evaluation is too early, and parents should be encouraged to report any concerns about their child’s development, such as an abnormal gait, hypotonia, or a parent’s persistent sense that something just isn’t right,” says Dr. Ward. “A primary care provider can determine if the issue is a variation of typical development, if it warrants a referral to a specialty care provider like Gillette is the best approach.”

Gross motor development progresses from head to foot — head, trunk, extremities — and from proximal to distal. Movements generally become more precise, with primitive reflexes being replaced with more complex movements. In atypical development, this is not always the case. Additionally, if a child regresses in motor development, they should be urgently referred to a neurologist.

Whatever the cause of motor delay, information and answers always help. Families can get peace of mind from Gillette experts with an Infant and Toddler Development or Motor Delay Evaluation.

When should you take action? 

TypicalRed Flag
When pulled to sit, the child's head comes up without difficulty or delay. Significant head lag at 5 months. 
Can sit without using hands to prop themselves up and can maintain sitting while reaching for something. Not sitting independently by 7  months or able to get into sitting positions by 9 months. 
Toddler can rise from supine position on the floor and is walking well by 12-16  months. Unable to rise from floor to stand unassisted by 18 months. 


If any of these red flags appear, a primary care provider should refer the patient to a specialist such as a pediatric neurologist or genetic counselor. The earlier the disease and any comorbidities are identified, the earlier helpful medications and therapies can begin.

Watch the full webinar on The Identification and Treatment of the Infant and Child with Motor Delay.

Show Results