KAYSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Running, jumping and play – the basics of childhood may be more important than you think.  Our brains and our bodies need each other to thrive and for kids, gross motor skills ensure they are developing to the best of their abilities.

Katie Degroot was worried about her son Ethan.  She said, “In second grade we starting noticing a listening problem.”

It wasn’t his hearing, they had that tested.  Their concern was Ethan’s inability to listen.  As Degroot went looking for help for her son, she found Integrated Learning Strategies.  The team there determined Ethan had an auditory processing issue.  After months of skills and therapy, Degroot saw progress with her son.

Degroot said, “As soon as his lower skills got helped, his higher skills and executive functions started to increase.”

For Ethan and every child:  physical development is connected to brain development.

Meagan Forsgren from Integrated Learning Strategies explained the connection, “It all relates to the learning process!  Most parents don’t understand or realize the connection between the body, the brain and how the child learns.”

Occupational Therapist Terra Robinson has worked with children of all ages for years, she has seen the direct correlation first hand.

Robinson said, “When your gross motor skills are going well, those systems are working well.  They are processing the inputs they are getting from the outside world.”

What can you do to ensure your child is thriving? Make sure they are playing and not just sitting in front of a screen.

Robinson said, “Focus on their play, running, jumping, crashing, swinging.”

If you think there is a problem, parents should go with their gut.

Robinson said, “I think parents have a gut feeling.  They know when something isn’t quite right.  So go out and find some help.”

Below are some helpful resources: