The laterality: develops the psychomotricity of your children

Luis Subiran

28 October, 2015

In this article we want to introduce you to a concept that, although it seems limited, is one of the basic points in the psychomotor development of children: laterality. This is a fundamental concept in the motor development of children.
For Quiros and Schrager (1979), laterality allows access to the symbolic orientation of one of the hemispheres, which transfers its bodily and spatial information to the other. In the event that this transmission does not occur satisfactorily, the receiving hemisphere takes longer to process, which causes it to be unable to focus on the activities for which it is most capable. Therefore, we can insist on the fact that laterality assumes a capital role in the organization of psychic functions.
 
Symmetrically speaking, the human body is of an anatomy of very similar dimensions, but functionally the differences grow and we become more asymmetrical. We write with one hand, we eat with one hand, we usually hit a ball with one foot ... This only shows our tendency to use one side of our body preferably.
 
Within the laterality, as Eduardo Justo Martínez states, we can distinguish between two types: cerebral laterality i body laterality (motor or sensory). When we talk about brain laterality we talk about how the cerebral hemispheres exercise their dominance over each other. In the case of body laterality, we refer to the prevalence and motor and sensory preferences of each side of the body. Prevalence is imposed by genetic codes and determined by the existence of a greater tone and strength on one side of the body and better chances of dexterity. For its part, the preference is given by environmental aspects and does not necessarily coincide with the prevalence. Body laterality is finally manifested in the dominant hand and foot (motor) and in the dominant eye and ear (sensory).
 
The body axis is what allows the use of both sides and, therefore, the functional integration of laterality in the body scheme of the child. Spatial orientation occurs with reference to the body axis.
 
Finally, we can distinguish two types of formulas when we talk about laterality: 
Homogeneous laterality to the right (right-handed) 
Homogeneous laterality on the left (left) 
Cross-sectionality (commonly when the sensory and motor part do not correspond to the same body hemisphere: dominant hand and eye) 
Ambidextrous (when the use of one side is as strong as that of the other)
 
Thus, we can translate laterality as the capacity for sensory and motor integration on both sides of the body that promotes the stability on which the individual’s relationship with their environment is based.
 

The game
In the development of laterality, play as such plays a leading role in laying out the schemes of children's laterality. From the game the definitive affirmation of the laterality is looked for. It is through play that activities are proposed that allow them to work according to the evolutionary stage in which the children are.
 
Laterality phases
Up to 2 years we speak of the phase of undifferentiated laterality, characterized by bilaterally symmetrical movements. The child does not yet differentiate between one side and the other.
 
From 2 to 4 years approximately, we speak of the alternating laterality phase, in which everyday actions are experimented with with one hand and the other, often comparing the results. At this stage, the game enhances awareness of body symmetry, works with activities that make the body segments independent and tries to experience the maximum number of movements that require the differentiated use of one side and the 'other of the body.
 
From 4 to 6-8 years we are talking about the final laterality phase. The main goal is for the child to consolidate this laterality that he already has fixed. The proposed activities must allow the child to differentiate between left and right body, and differentiate it from other people. In addition, the game works to help children refine the movements of their dominant body segments.
 
From Claror we bet on sports activity from a very young age to achieve, among many other things, a laterality worked from the proposal of multisport activities (pre-sport, psychomotor skills, sports initiation, swimming classes ...) so that the child can experience your possibilities and end up successfully consolidating it and integrating it into your body scheme satisfactorily. We believe in sport as an essential part in the development of human beings, both for the transmission of values ​​on which we focus one of our focuses and for the physical development of people.

the author

Luis Subiran

Responsible Sports Initiation and Leisure Claror Cartagena

CFGS Animation Physical and Sports Activities, and Teaching of Physical Education

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