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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 3


In Lesson 2, the focus was on relationships. We learned that infants and toddlers with special needs may not readily have the skills to make social bids. We learned the importance of service providers and families finding natural settings which stimulate interactions. Additionally, we learned that consideration should be given to the family's style and preferences as the service provider uses helpful, sensitive coaching techniques.

The same sensitive style of coaching is needed for motor development as well. Infants and toddlers with motor delays may need adaptive devices or supports to help them in daily activities, but they can still be active participants in daily activities, such as dusting, feeding, and dressing themselves. Lesson 3 provides suggestions for coaching families as they support their infant or toddler's motor development.

Babies kissing in wagonBabies are born with reflexes. Each day they take those reflexes and expand their skills to greater lengths. They experiment first with their own body, then with toys and others'. Most caregivers recall having their hair pulled by a baby. They first explore the world before they play. They kick, pull, shove and want to move to places and are intrigued with the world. Their perception - of hand-eye control, depth, distance, balance, and focus of attention develops as they explore through their motor skills (Gozalez-Mena, Eyer, 2004; Frost, Wortham, Reifel, 2005). This lesson capitalizes on infants/toddlers natural desires to move and how motor development can be fostered in many different places and spaces - indoors and out-of-doors.

As before, while progressing through this lesson on motor development, keep in mind that you will be using many of the same activities and strategies to promote development across several domains.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Indicate ways to collaborate with service providers (including family members) and to evaluate appropriateness of curricula being used to plan for daily activities while considering the child's physical, cognitive, social-emotional, self-help/adaptive skills, and language development.
  2. Identify and use developmentally and functionally appropriate materials, equipments and environments that support motor development.
  3. Identify and recommend available resources within the child's family and community and how they are accessed and/or strengthened to meet the unique needs of the individual child and family.
  4. Provide examples of assistance for the family to integrate their infant or toddler into the most natural learning environment to the greatest degree possible using everyday routines, activities and places.


The following resources are necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print a hard copy of the resources prior to beginning the lesson for future reference. Some resource documents can be found in the Resource Bank. Others are available online.

Note: One article for this lesson can be found in a professional journal. It is suggested that the learner visit a community college or university in their area to obtain the article. See Activity 2 for details.

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Reflexes
  • Child variables
  • Culturally sensitive
  • Intrinsically motivating
  • Temperament
  • Generalization
  • Accommodate
  • Scaffolding
  • Attachment
  • Stimulation


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