The American Academy of Pediatrics has published new research on early identification and evaluation of motor delays and variations in muscle tone. A multidisciplinary expert panel developed an algorithm for the surveillance and screening of children for motor delays using formal developmental screenings at 9,18,30 and 48 month well child visits. The additional 48 month check is to identify problems in coordination, fine motor, and graphomotor skills before a child enters kindergarten.
This full text article offers a flow chart for decision making for pediatricians, summary of gross motor and fine motor skills at various ages, examples of questions to ask regarding motor history, suggested examination techniques, suggested testing such as neuroimaging and blood work, chart of red flags, chart for common genetic disorders with clinical testing and clinical presentations and suggestions for referrals.
If you are a pediatric therapist working with younger children, ages birth through early elementary years, this full text article is worth a read. Personally, I found the wording of questions to ask parents regarding their child's motor history very beneficial to use during an evaluation or goal setting.
Reference: Garey H. Noritz, Nancy A. Murphy,and NEUROMOTOR SCREENING EXPERT PANELFrom the American Academy of Pediatrics: Clinical Report: Motor Delays: Early Identification and Evaluation. Pediatrics peds.2013-1056; published ahead of print May 27, 2013, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-1056