We use the NEW Miller Function and Participation Scales to assess student’s fine or gross motor abilities, who are aged between 2.5 and 8 years. This standardised assessment helps to determine how the student’s fine or gross motor skills impact on their ability to engage in home and school activities and to participate socially in their world.
Students taking the test engage in tasks that resemble functional school motor activities (eg. drawing, writing, cutting with scissors, catching and playing ball games etc.). The test items are presented as natural and fun “games” that are typical of the student’s daily leisure and school activities. The workbooks are highly engaging, and there is also a parent and teacher questionnaire that can be used to provide information about the student’s age-appropriate self-care activities, use of tools (eg. pencils, scissors, tape, cutlery), mobility, eye-hand coordination, and participation in both home and school activities. As a result of using this highly innovative and engaging skills based assessment, we will need time to score and interpret the results.
Hence, we will no longer be able to provide the report to the parents on the day, but will endeavour to have it sent out only a couple of days following the assessment. We felt that the information gained from using such an assessment will provide us with more accurate information about the student’s fine / gross motor abilities, and a more accurate intervention plan as a result. Please note, however, that verbal feedback will still be an important component of our motor skills assessments. We will use other standardised assessments for children older than 8 years.
Fine motor’ refers to activities that involve the smaller muscle groups of the body (e.g. hands and fingers). This may include cutting, drawing, craft/construction, as well as writing.
‘Gross motor’ refers to activities that involve the larger muscle groups of the body. This may include hopping, jumping, throwing, catching, climbing, and other essential playground skills.
In both assessments we look at the activities the child needs to be able to perform for their age. The assessment looks at underlying sensory motor and cognitive skills, to determine if and why a child is having difficulty in these areas.