Balance & Coordination, Dyslexia, Science

How we learn to walk

There is an interesting article on Cognitive regarding a study on how children learn to walk . Prior to this study it had been theorised that the driving force behind children learning to walk was either the development of the brain or the body. That is, when the brain or body had matured enough the child would learn to walk. However this study showed that neither of these was a significant factor. It turns out that children learn to walk when it suits them and the more they practice the better they get.
This is important for dyslexia in a number of ways. Firstly it reinforces the key concept that you become good at things by practicing them. Physical and mental ability is not that important. Secondly that motivation is very important. Children and adults only learn when they are motivated to do so which leads onto the third point, let your children learn to walk at their own pace. INPP and others focus on the role of primitive reflexes. These reflexes restrict the freedom of movement but are important part of a infant’s development. Through learning to move their limbs, crawl and then walk a child loses their primitive reflexes. However studies indicate that many dyslexics and suffers of other educational problem have retained these reflexes. One possible explanation for this is that as an infant the children rushed through the crawling stage either because they were eager to walk or because their parents pushed them. In short, children should learn to crawl and walk at a steady pace, mastering each stage before moving onto the next.
Study Abstract: What Changes in Infant Walking and Why
Other Research: Balance and gait in children with dyslexia, Prevalence of persistent primary reflexes and motor problems in children with reading difficulties