Motor Disabilities Landing Pad

Motor development is the most visible of innate abilities. It involves movement, control, dexterity, and flexibility. This landing pad highlights resources including research and guidance (Why Do It?), articles (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See for Yourself), and web resources (Find It Online) that can support professionals and family members in identifying and addressing motor disabilities in very young children. Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost. A special section (Virginia Guidance) features state-specific resources.

Why Do It?

Early Motor Intervention: The Need for New Treatment Paradigms

The authors report results that neither of the two treatment models that are commonly used with young children with motor disabilities was effective in enhancing the children’s rate of motor development or quality of movement, at least over a 1-year time period. These findings add to an increasing body of literature indicating that contemporary procedures are not adequately meeting the hopes and vision for motor intervention. These findings also serve as a call for the field to explore alternative treatment methods for providing services. In particular, there is a need for greater involvement of parents in intervention. Go here to download and read the report

Evidence and Outcomes for Power Mobility Intervention with Young Children

Laura Hansen’s bibliography includes selected information about evidence for the use of power mobility to assist young children with motor challenges to participate in daily activities. Read the article here

Prescribing Therapy Services for Children with Motor Disabilities

This policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics defines the context in which rehabilitation therapies should be prescribed, emphasizing the evaluation and enhancement of the child's function and abilities and participation in age-appropriate life roles. Read the statement here

See For yourself

Pathways Videos

The Pathways Awareness Foundation has created a series of free videos demonstrating the promise of early physical and occupational therapy for children with a wide range of concerns. Specific examples are listed below.

Find the videos here:

Role of Occupational Therapy with Infants, Toddlers, and Families

This set of PowerPoints from the American Occupational Therapy Association highlights ways in which occupational therapists can support young children with challenges in fine motor development. See the powerpoint here:

Typical/Atypical Development Comparisons

Pathways also features videos of typical and atypical motor development at 2 and 6 months of age and early infant assessment of motor skills. Some videos are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Find It Online

Fine Motor Skills for Infants, Toddlers, and Children

This website highlights typical fine motor milestones, identifies red flags, and offers guidance on referrals for additional information. Visit the website at

Gross Motor Skills for Infants, Toddlers, and Children

This website highlights typical gross motor milestones, identifies red flags, and offers guidance on referrals for additional information. Visit the website at

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)

UCP educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. The UCP website offers a variety of resources for individuals with motor disabilities. Visit the website at

Motor Disorders: Assessment and Intervention for Young Children (Age 0 - 3 Years)

These clinical practice guidelines are intended to provide parents, professionals, and others with recommendations, based on the best scientific evidence available, with best practices for assessment and intervention for young children with motor disabilities. The guidelines were developed to help children and their families learn about appropriate and effective services, provide an education and information resource for professionals, promote consistency in service delivery, facilitate productive communication among professionals, and facilitate quality improvement in early intervention services. Download and read the guidelines here:

Read About It

Developmental Surveillance: Early Identification of Motor Delays Improves Outcomes

Dr. Raymond Tervo’s article highlights the ways in which early recognition and intervention can help prevent secondary problems related to developmental delays and change the overall outcome of the disability. Read the article here:

Early Intervention: Assistive Technology for Motor Intervention

Author Laurie Potts asserts that using assistive technology for young children with disabilities can make a significant difference, enabling them to achieve full integration into home, school, and community activities. She shares examples in this article. See the article at

The Role of Parents in Early Motor Intervention

Authors Gerald Mahoney and Frida Perales discuss findings from a study conducted with young children with a variety of motor disabilities. They found that parents, who are the people with the greatest opportunities to promote children's motor learning, are not being asked to become active participants in their children's motor intervention. They also found that contemporary models of motor intervention have been focusing on motor learning activities that are incompatible with contemporary theories and research on early motor learning. Read the study at this site

Virginia Guidance

Cerebral Palsy of Virginia

Cerebral Palsy of Virginia is a non-profit organization serving children and adults with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Services include advocacy, assistive technology, and information and referral. Visit their website at

Chesapeake Potomac Spina Bifida, Inc.

This organization’s mission is “to support the needs of individuals with spina bifida and related conditions and their families.” They serve individuals with spina bifida and their families in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Visit their website at

Disability Resources – Virginia

This site provides a list of Virginia and national resources by disability category. Visit their website at

INOVA Fairfax Hospital

The pediatric physiatry department at this hospital treats children with a variety of motor disabilities and conditions. Physical and occupational therapies and specialty clinics are also available in the INOVA system.

Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center

Kluge offers inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient specialty clinics treating a variety of motor disabilities. Visit the website at

The NewWell Fund

The Fund offers a low interest loan program that assists Virginians with disabilities to get the assistive technology they need. Visit the website at

Partnership for People with Disabilities | Virginia Commonwealth University

The Partnership for People with Disabilities is Virginia’s only university center for excellence in developmental disabilities (UCEDD). The mission of the Partnership is to partner with people with disabilities and others to build communities where all people can live, learn, work, and play together. Activities of the Partnership span the lifetime and include activities specific to early intervention and early childhood. Visit the website at

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Norfolk VA

The physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters are specially trained physicians who provide a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative services for infants, children and adolescents. They help patients gain or regain lost skills or capabilities and maximize potential that has been inhibited by developmental delay, disease or accidents. CHKD offers a variety of outpatient clinics and inpatient services to treat a variety of motor disabilities. Visit the website at

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU Richmond VA

The Children’s Hospital offers focused outpatient clinics (e.g., neuromuscular, cerebral palsy, spasticity), a Gait Lab, and a pediatric rehabilitation consult service. Visit the website at

University of Virginia Charlottesville VA | University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Services

Clinics at this hospital offer diagnosis and treatment of a variety of motor disabilities. Visit the website at

Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Fund

This fund may be a resource for families who have a child who experienced a qualifying injury at birth. The child must have been delivered by a participating physician or at a participating hospital. Children who are admitted into the program receive benefits to assist with the medical costs associated with care. Visit the websie at

Help for Families: Virginia’s Medicaid Waivers

This Arc of VA webpage provides information about each waiver as well as links to other related resources.

Virginia’s Medicaid Waivers for Persons with Disabilities, Their Parents, & Caregivers

This booklet provides more detailed information about Virginia’s Medicaid waivers. Download the booklet here

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2012, Updated 2013.