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Understanding the Lingo

Terms associated with child development, motor, and movement

Term
Definition

Abduction (ABD)

Movement of an arm or leg away from the midline of the body.

Adaptive/Cognitive skills

Those skills associated with mental development. The skills that include how the child solves problems, anticipates an event, and interacts with his environment.

Adduction (ADD)

Movement of an arm or leg towards the midline of the body.

Bilateral

Affecting both sides of the body

Adjusted/calculated chronological age (CCA)

Age of the child, taking into consideration the amount of prematurity. An example: A child who was born on January 1, but was due on March 1 is two months premature. Therefore, on July 1, his CCA is 4 months.

Chronological Age (CA)

Actual age from your child’s birth date.

Crawl

To move with arms and legs and tummy on the floor, "commando style"

Creep

To move with arms and legs, with the tummy off the floor.

Extension

The straightening of the trunk and limbs, the opposite of flexion.

Fine motor

The area of development concerned with using hands, eyes, and hands and eyes together, such as grasping, reaching. Refers to the small muscles.

Flexion

Decreasing the angle or bending of a joint, the opposite of extension.

Gross motor

The area of development concerned with how a child controls his larger body movements, such as head control, sitting, and walking.

Hypertonia

Increase tension of the muscles which can make movement difficult. Also referred to as increased muscle tone.

Hypotonia

Decrease tension of the muscles, making upright postures difficult to hold. Sometimes referred to "floppy" or decreased muscle tone. The opposite of hypertonia.

Prone

Lying on the stomach

Reaction

A reflex which appears in infancy or childhood which remains throughout life and are necessary for protection, balance and equilibrium.

Reflex

Activity performed automatically and without conscious volition. They are the raw material from which the central nervous system may build volitional movements.

Spasticity

Hypertonicity that is velocity dependent, ie: the faster the movement the stronger the resistance.

Supine

Lying on the back

Tone

The state of muscle tension. Normal tone is that which is high enough to resist the effects of gravity in both posture and movement yet low enough to allow freedom of movement.

Within normal limits (WNL)

Within the range of typical for that particular age child.

 
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Last modified: January 26, 2013