● What is symmetry?
● How do you find symmetry disorders in a child?
● What effect does symmetry have on children’s overall development?
● How to help a child with symmetry disorders?
● When should a child physiologically achieve asymmetry, and when should symmetry be achieved?
The purpose of this post is to discuss symmetry in children and its importance. We will provide an overview
information on the definition of symmetry, explain what are the typical milestones in the
development of symmetry in children, we will discuss the impact of symmetry on children’s overall development, and describe strategies for improving symmetry in children. We will also discuss the importance of early identification and intervention for asymmetry in children, and the role of family and caregivers in counteracting asymmetry in children. By the end of this post, we hope to have provided you with valuable tips and raise awareness about the importance of symmetry in children’s development.
What is symmetry?
Symmetry is an important aspect in children’s development. It consists of alignment and
● The concept of positional symmetry refers to the balance, proportion of the body and its
alignment including the upper limbs, lower limbs and head in space. It is of
crucial in creating children’s motor skills or general
body awareness (child proprioception).
● The concept of motor symmetry refers to activities that incorporate perceptual
visual or hand-eye coordination, concentration and perceptiveness.
The emergence of motor symmetry is essential for the proper development of children; including
including for performing everyday tasks (large and small motor skills) such as:
jumping, crawling, throwing, walking, running, climbing, as well as for
manual-motor tasks such as writing and drawing.
Symmetry is closely linked to overall body awareness and how children understand and
control their own movement. Children with correct symmetry and body awareness move better
in their environment and can perform activities with greater freedom and safety. U
children without properly developed symmetry, there appears, among other things, clumsiness of movements, lack of precision in manual movements, or pathologies in human physiological activities.
Understanding symmetry and its relationship to child development is important for early
recognizing asymmetry and implementing strategies to improve symmetry. This allows
children to achieve full life function.
What impact does symmetry have on a child’s overall development?
Symmetry is crucial for large and small motor skills and the overall body awareness of
of children in space. It is related to the child’s superficial and deep sensation – when
when incomplete symmetry is achieved, the child’s non-dominant side loses information about the
its own position and the action of individual body units, resulting in
motor awkwardness arises, leading to clumsiness and abnormal functionality of the
of the patient. In addition, it is closely related to the way children understand and control
their own movement.
How does asymmetry manifest itself?
Asymmetry is a term that refers to the occurrence of abnormality within the alignment or
functionality of the child. It is characterized by the fact that one side of the body is not
proportionate or balanced with the other side. Asymmetry or lack of symmetry can
occur for a variety of reasons, such as pre-, post- or perinatal factors, diseases
congenital or acquired including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental
hip dysplasia, traumatic brain injury or congenital defects of the limbs
of the upper or lower extremities. Early identification and intervention are key to
addressing asymmetry in children. A multidisciplinary approach that includes
rehabilitation with adaptive equipment and occupational therapy can help
improve and correct the asymmetry that occurs.
Failure to address the child may result in future difficulties not only
within the performance of ADLs and IADLs, but also the child’s postural abnormalities, thus
ultimately affecting the child’s self-esteem, self-awareness or self-perception.
The interaction of the factors described above can contribute to the build-up of isolation,
frustration and low self-esteem by the child. By understanding the critical role of symmetry in
child’s development, a smooth exit from asymmetry is possible.
When should a child physiologically achieve asymmetry, and when should a child achieve symmetry?
Asymmetry is created already during pregnancy. This is when the baby creates “its asymmetry”
through mobility in the mother’s abdomen – with less mobility, the likelihood of a
of aggravated asymmetry of the child increases. However, an important fact is that asymmetry up to 3
months of age is a completely natural phenomenon.
Symmetry does not always appear at the same time in one child as in another.
The commonly accepted age of infancy at which physiological asymmetry disappears and symmetry appears
symmetry appears is 3 months of age. In the event that this one does not occur (depending on the
case) we may have to deal with idiopathic partial or overall asymmetry
asymmetry resulting from, for example, congenital or acquired (by disease) factors. It is worth
remember that each child develops in an individual way, so you should not
panic if the toddler does not show a characteristic ability for a given month of life
ability. A pediatric physiotherapist or doctor can help you determine this.
How do you tell if a child has a symmetry disorder?
There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate asymmetry in children, including:
– Preference for using one side of the body more than the other – increased flexion of the
of the trunk in one side of the child’s body (lack of parallel relationship between the pelvis and shoulders),
– Difficulty performing tasks with one side of the body,
– Unbalanced muscle tone or strength in the lower and upper extremities -.
Asymmetrical forward support,
– Abnormal length of limbs,
– Uneven position of the head or torso – the length occurring between the line of the ears and the line of the
Shoulders is shortened on one side of the child’s body
– Asymmetrical movement patterns,
– A noticeable difference in the range of motion in the joints of the upper or
– Occurring differences in skin folds or dimples,
– Lack of linearity: nose > chin > navel > pubic conjunctiva,
It should be noted that asymmetry can be subtle and not obvious. It is not a condition that
forms overnight, so parents and caregivers should be aware of
signs or symptoms that appear at first glance in a child’s life.
The importance of symmetry in the development of children’s large motor skills can be seen in the way it
allows them to maintain balance, coordinate movement and develop strength. Symmetry is also
crucial to the development of children’s small motor skills, as it enables them to perform
precise movements, such as grasping, manipulating and holding objects.
How to help a child with symmetry disorders?
Symmetry improvement in children can be achieved through a variety of strategies or methods
therapeutic methods. The main distinctions are Medek therapy, Vojta therapy and NDT- therapy.
Bobath. The aforementioned therapies affect: the child’s final state of health and
building the symmetry of the body axis (including the correct distribution of the body load). Holistic
physiotherapeutic approach can be effective in addressing asymmetry or
supporting children, both physically and emotionally. Physiotherapy can be used to
improve: postural muscle strength (shoulders, abdomen, back, upper and
lower extremities, buttocks), child endurance, central and peripheral stabilization, balance
or ranges of motion on the weaker side of the body. Physiotherapists can also work with
children to significantly influence their posture and to consolidate single
symmetrical movement patterns, which are an introduction to complex activities in which
movement or alignment symmetry is required.
Occupational therapy can also be used as part of pediatric rehabilitation to
improving symmetry. Therapists working with children improve their motor skills;
such as grasping and manipulating objects, such as symmetrically stacking blocks on the
disturbed side of the body, as well as create their ability to perform everyday activities
activities e.g. moving “frog”, carrying an object with both hands, crawling
dressing, dressing or turning with active stimulation of the weaker side.
Adaptive equipment is used to help children with asymmetry. It includes, among others:
orthoses, corsets and various orthotics that can stimulate the weaker side of the child’s body and
promote more symmetrical movement.
Family and caregivers also play an important role in combating asymmetry in their children.
They are able to support their children by giving them opportunities to perform exercises
symmetrical exercises and movements at home, as well as encouraging the use of the weaker side of the body.
In addition, after proper instruction, you will be able to use the tips,
which the pediatric physiotherapist has shared with you.
It should be noted that every child is unique, and specific strategies for improving
symmetry will depend on your child’s individual needs and abilities. To
achieve the best results, you may need a combination of strategies!