Motor learning disabilities

If you’re working with clients that have to move, it’s likely you’ve seen them: So called “Movement challenged, or motor morons”, whatever you want to call them. They leave many rehab specialists scratching their heads. No matter what techniques we try to implement, these patients just can’t learn to do what we expect. Well maybe it’s just the presence of a motor learning disability.

For years it has been accepted that people learn in very different ways, and the educational system has started to acknowledge that. They have also recognized for years that some people have learning disabilities. So should we start to think that these “people who just don’t get it” are actually struggling because they have a difficult time learning movement in a traditional way? It’s not reading comprehension, but it is still a skill and it is still learning.

We need to be teachers and think of creative ways to get people to better understand their bodies, and movement. Visualization, relaxation techniques, etc need to be utilized to get people ready to move their best. Learning is learning, and there are people who struggle with different aspects of it.

What are your thoughts? Do you struggle to learn new movements? What are your experiences as practitioners?

Always evolve,


2 responses to “Motor learning disabilities

  1. Dear Mr. Scott, re: Your COMMENT “it’s likely you’ve seen them: Movement challenged, motor morons, whatever you want to call them”

    My son who is 18 years of age and 6’2”, has always been challenged by the lack of fine motor skills.

    Although very intelligent, as a child had great difficulty holding and moving a pencil. The elementary school wanted him to get onto a computer in grade 2 after a nightmarish year in grade one.

    (He attended kindergarten in the same school and no professionals seem to notice he had a problem)

    I told the Principal -HE HAD TO LEARN HOW TO AT LEAST PRINT AND READ LONG HAND to succeed in life.

    My greatest regret was that I did get him on the computer early. You know it is extremely hard to

    Type and take the notes of a talking teacher on a keyboard and keep up in class.

    The problem followed him to sports as well. He has never been able to catch any size of

    Ball very well but he is no moron and man can he ride a bike!

    Your comment… it’s likely you’ve seen them: Movement challenged, motor morons, whatever you want to call them….REALLY ANNOYED ME.

    It is comments like that yours that perpetuate the ignorance towards people with Motor skill challenges and how they learn to hide them in their lives. You are supposed to be a professional. If anyone should know about these types of challenges it should be a physiotherapist right? An Occupational therapist

    Right. There were occupational therapists who attempted to help these kids but the ideas they used

    Did not help. The 6 kids who were in his first O/T group have done the worst in school, developed other

    Health challenges and barely graduated.

    You should read Malcolm Gladwell’s current book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”

    Put some energy into a web site called “All Kinds of Minds”….and apply some of this to your practice. And always remember Compassionate care is paramount when you do not understand where someone is coming from.


    ‘Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see ‘ . . . . . Mark Twain

    Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:50:06 +0000 To:

    • Valentina,
      I think that the point of this post was missed because of my choice language, but these are not terms that I have coined, nor are they meant to infer someone’s actual intelligence level. I have met numerous people who are much smarter than myself but still struggle to learn to breathe properly or lift their arm without shrugging their shoulder. This post is about those who do struggle to learn new motor skills and new ways of looking at their dififculties. I am simply saying that these people are NOT morons, and that they possibly struggle at learning new motor skills because they have a MOTOR LEARNING DISABILITY, not because they are intellectual morons. I was attempting to strike up a discussion regarding interesting ways therapists and patients have found to help those who struggle at rehabilitating from surgeries, accidents, injuries, or other conditions. I do not think that you can judge my empathy, compassion, understanding of certain conditions, or treatment methods from reading one blog post. Like I said, the point was to strike up an intellectual discussion so patients such as your son, and his fellow O/T group do not fall pray to the same-old same-old treatment methods that do not work for many patients. I wish you and your son the best, and I am glad you spoke up for those who have been left behind because their therapists were too closed-minded to see/attempt alternative treatment methods that may help. Putting everyone into the same box just does not work. Each patient is an individual, who learns in an individual way.

      Always Evolve,


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