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What is paediatric clumsiness?

Clumsiness is when a child has poor co-ordination and may have difficulty carrying out tasks that involve fine motor skills such as handling small objects. They may also experience difficulty with gross motor skills such as walking. This can greatly reduce the independence of the child.

Therapist led exercise to increase proprioceptive awarenessAbove: Therapist led exercise to increase proprioceptive awareness

What causes clumsiness in children?

There is often no identifiable cause for clumsiness problems but they can happen as a result of other conditions such as learning difficulties or behavioural disorders.

Therapist assistaed balance and co-ordination exercisesAbove: Therapist assistaed balance and co-ordination exercises

What are the symptoms of clumsiness in children?

Some of the main signs to look for are:
  • Difficulty handling objects
  • Dropping objects
  • Tripping
  • Frustration at not being able to achieve tasks

What can physiotherapy do to help children with clumsiness?

Physiotherapy treatment will mainly consist of movement exercises and practice to improve motor skills. Treatment will be very functionally based so that improvements can be made in everyday activities that are difficult for the child. There will also be advice on long term management of the problem so that it improves everyday life and development for the child and promotes independence.


Clumsinesscan make everyday life very difficult for children and their development and independence can be greatly affected. Physiotherapy can help to improve clumsiness.

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