Parents applying for childhood SSI benefits are often confused by how the Social Security Administration evaluates the claim. The SSA looks at the child's functioning in terms of six domains. This entry dealing with Moving About and Manipulating Objects is the fourth in a series discussing domains of function. In this domain, SSA considers how the child moves her body from one place to another and how she moves and manipulates things, i.e. gross and fine motor skills.
Newborns and infants should begin to explore their world by moving their body and by using their limbs. They should learn to holding their head up, sitting, crawling, and standing, and sometimes holding onto a stable object and stand actively for brief periods.
Older infants and toddlers should begin to explore actively a wide area of the physical environment, using their body with steadily increasing control and independence from others. They should begin to walk and run without assistance, and climb with increasing skill.
Preschool children should be able to walk and run with ease. Your gross motor skills should let you climb stairs and playground equipment with little supervision, and let you play more independently; e.g., you should be able to swing by yourself and may start learning to ride a tricycle. Your fine motor skills should also be developing.
School-age children's gross motor skills should let them move at an efficient pace about school, home, and neighborhood. Increasing strength and coordination should expand their ability to enjoy a variety of physical activities, such as running and jumping, and throwing, kicking, catching and hitting balls in informal play or organized sports.
Adolescents should be able to use motor skills freely and easily to get about school, the neighborhood, and the community. They should be able to participate in a full range of individual and group physical fitness activities.
Examples of limited functioning in moving about and manipulating objects:
- Trouble climbing up and down stairs, or have jerky or disorganized locomotion or difficulty with your balance.
- Difficulty coordinating gross motor movements (e.g., bending, kneeling, crawling, running, jumping rope, or riding a bike).
- Difficulty with sequencing hand or finger movements.
- Difficulty with fine motor movement (e.g., gripping or grasping objects).
- Poor eye-hand coordination when using a pencil or scissors.