Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walking Before Crawling, A Dangerous Milestone???

At a recent party my MIL was bragging about Allison and how she has skipped crawling in favor of walking. Everyone had their opinion about it, but the majority said that she would have speech problems and vision impairments and have a difficult time reading & writing…even a professor at the university agrees…Oh my!!

Being the over protective mother I am, I had to discuss it with my husband., no one is going to talk about our baby like that, she’s a genius. She babbles and laughs and rolls in her crib until she is stuck in a corner then cries so we can save her from the evil corner. She pulls her self up and can stand on her own while sucking her thumb. How could that be a bad thing???

So I decided to do a little research myself. First place I checked was the web because you know the web is always right. I found an article about the doctor who’s theory matches that of the “university crowd”. Glenn Doman (a physical therapist) founded the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a non-profit organization providing teaching programs and books designed to improve and accelerate the mental and physical development of normal as well as brain-damaged children in 1955.(ok 1955, just a little old) He has also written a few books on development of babies the last one in 1988, then co wrote another book with his daughter Janet in 2006.
I continued reading the article and have to say that I am still a bit skeptical, you can accelerate the mental and physical development of any child just by playing, reading, singing, taking them outside and having mommy around (IMO). Crawling is not something that can forever alter the way the child will or will not develop mentally or physically.
The article goes on to express their opinions on the subject and in his words “the objective of his “gentle revolution” is “to give all parents the knowledge required to make highly intelligent, extremely capable, and delightful children, and, by so doing, to make a highly humane, sane and decent world.”
Right there…you see this… making a highly humane, sane and decent world. WOW!! No wonder the people at the party listened to this guy, he fits in with there ultra liberal thinking, not to mention that most of these people were probably having children back in the 70’s and 80’s when his theories were new.
We are now some twenty, thirty years later and I needed some more recent info on this theory.
I dug up some current info that might make it more clear, on the web of course. It is a few (15) pages on the Motor & physical development of locomotion, from NYU. It gave me some insight . What I took away from the excerpt was that crawling, like walking is a locomotion skill and "walking is the most recognized of infants’ locomotor achievements, but it is not infants’ final locomotor milestone."

Here is an excerpt from the site that I think sums it up pretty well
“The development of locomotion is one of infants’ greatest
achievements. It is accomplished little by little as infants
learn to cope with gravity, the constraints of their growing
bodies, and variations in the terrain.
Initially unique solutions in crawling and walking (and the myriad other
forms that infants invent to move themselves from place
to place) tend to converge on common patterns of interlimb
coordination. But, common patterns of movements
do not imply rigidity in the face of adversity. Infants take
each encounter with everyday obstacles as an opportunity
to employ a boundless repertoire of exploratory procedures,
to discover new ways of modifying ongoing movements,
and to construct alternative solutions when the
current method of locomotion is impossible.
Thus, the development of locomotion reflects important
changes across many domains of development –
physical growth and biomechanics, as well as perceptual
learning and cognitive development. For infants, carrying
objects involves developmental changes in the biomechanics
of balance. Navigation through a cluttered environment
involves perceptual exploration in the service of
prospective control. Finding a new sliding position to
descend a steep slope and using a handrail as a tool to
augment balance are dramatic examples of means-ends
problem solving.
Moreover, the development of locomotion facilitates
change across many domains of development. The ability
to go somewhere, to move and retrieve objects, and to
leave caregivers behind creates new sources of information
about the self in relation to places, surfaces, objects,
and other people. Independent mobility has system-wide
effects on psychological development. Indeed, as Campos
and colleagues remind us, travel broadens the mind.”

So whether your child walks before crawling or vise versa, I found there is no concrete evidence that would suggest that your child will have any developmental disabilities if they decide they like walking around and exploring rather than crawling. Babies are going to do what they want when they are ready and no one can stop them...he he.

(I am not a doctor or a professional and these are just my opinions I have made through research)

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