Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a congenital condition where there’s an extra chromosome in a child’s DNA. This causes the child to have cognitive and physical challenges as they grow up. Children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome typically have low muscle tone and laxity in their joints, which affects how and when they achieve certain developmental milestones. Gross motor skills encompass the larger muscular movements the baby/infant make, such as sitting, crawling and walking. Fine motor skills are the smaller more intricate movements that come from the smaller muscles that are in the hands. Below is a chart of the average age range on when a child can develop gross and fine motor skills.  

Gross Motor Skills   

Activity  Child with Down Syndrome Average Age Range  Typical Child Average Age Range 
Head Control in Sitting  3-5 months  1-4 months  
Rolling Over   4-12 months  2-10 months 
Sitting Alone  6-16 months  5-9 months 
Crawling  8-22 months  6-12 months 
Standing Alone  12-38 months  9-16 months 
Walking Alone  13-48 months  9-17 months 


Fine Motor Skills 

Activity   Child with Down Syndrome Average Age Range  Typical Child Average Age Range 
Reaching Out for Objects  4-11 months  2-6 months 
Passing Objects from Hand to Hand  6-12 months  4-8 months 
Raking Grasp  9-12 months  5-7 months 
Uses Spoon  13-39 months  12-20 months 
Pincer Grasp  22-66 months  10-12 months 
Intentional Drop/Release  22-36 months  13-15 months 


If you feel that you have any concerns about your child’s developmental milestones and would like to speak to someone, here at Anderson Therapy Services our Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy teams are well equipped and knowledgeable to help. We will work with you and your child to develop a treatment plan which optimizes you child’s growth and functional skills for everyday life.    

Beqaj, S., Jusaj, N., & Zivkovic, V. (2017). Attainment of gross motor milestones in children with Down syndrome in Kosovo – developmental perspective. Medicinski Glasnik, 189-198. 
Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group. (2011, June). PCHR inset for babies born with Down syndrom (Third Edition, June 2011). Retrieved from Health For All Children: 
Fine motor and self-care milestones for individuals with Down syndrome using a Retrospective Chart Review. (2015). Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 719-729. 
Physiopedia. (2021, May). Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21). Retrieved from Physiopedia: