31 answers

Skipping Crawling Leads to Dyslexia??

Hey Moms,

My baby girl seems to prefer wanting to learn how to walk than learning to crawl. I've heard from many of my friends and acquaintances that this is not an issue however my boyfriends bbf (biology major with two kids) read that she could become dyslexic or ADHD. I've never heard of such a thing and I can't find any information other than speculation. Has anyone heard of this and can you link me to a credible source?

Thanks in advance.

What can I do next?

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I have no proof of anything, but I think this is ridiculous. I knew a girl who never crawled, and she had trouble with balance and co-ordination (her parents got her some gymnastic lessons when she was younger to help her out, which greatly improved her skills in the area), but she was an excellent reader who had no problems with dyslexia that I ever heard of.

Yes i heard that is messes with hand eye coordination but let me tell you..... my son never crawled he rolled and he is very above average. he will be 4 on the 29 and we are working on reading, he subtracts and adds and is NOT any of those things. He goes to mothers day out and they bring him work to do out of the 5 years old class because he is so advanced he gets bored. I think by my experience that anything that is ever wrong with a child is hereditary or lack of teaching or toxins put in the body. Here is proof of what I said!!
http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20051028/gene-may-be-link...
This web site should make you feel better!

I was working towards my CDA (child development associates) and in classes we dicussed this. I don't believe it will cause dyslexia or ADHD. It's perfectly normal for babies to skip crawling. However, crawling does help minor and major motor skills whenever body parts are working on both sides of the body...arms and legs in the crawling motion... As long as she does crawl eventually it will be fine. No major harm done if she doesn't. As she gets older you can do exercises to help her motor skills. Get a crayon or chalk and have her draw circles in differend directions. )Right hand goes clockwise left counter-clockwise or vise-verse.) Sorry for the rambling, hope I helped.

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I was told I kept watching my older brother(4 yrs) run back and forth in the room. I decided at 7 months to get up and run with him. I never crawled and I can assure you I never had ADHD or Dyslexia. I am 48 yrs old. Of course this is just my example. Everyone is looking for an excuse for their kids to act up these days. Soooo glad I had my child in another era.

1 mom found this helpful

Crawling is very important. Opposition dexterity helps organize the brain coordination. It helps with true right or left sided dominance. True ambidexterity is one thing but most people simply have a confused dominance, as do I slightly. I can saw, hammer, bowl, catch, brush my hair, and other things with both hands equally well. Better on the left is: eat with fork, drink, bat, reach, carry, and type. Better on the right is: eat with spoon, cut with knife, write, cartwheel, throw, kick, and leap. I know that I am right handed idealy because I use scissors and brush my teeth only with my right hand. I am very slightly dyslexic. I have never had treatment and really don't need it. I can tell when things are backwards and I autofix rapidly. Thank goodness I am not color blind because sometimes the red and green light is flipped around. My is not all the time. When it is happening then I pay close attention and it may not happen for months at a time now that I am older. Mine is very tied to emotion and stress. It is worse when I am tired. Since my mid 20's I would notice that when I eat with my left hand I am in a certain mood. Distant, confidant, cocky, disconnected. My humor is different and I seem to be locked into the present of just a few hours. Sometimes I do not feel good and feel confused. On ocassion I have been able to force myself to eat the meal with my right hand as a right hander would eat and after a bit of emotional confusion would then feel fine, takes about 30 minutes, sometimes followed by a headache. I am telling all of this in a way that makes it look like a big deal but it's not. The emotional components are noticeable only to me usually. About 8 years ago after explaining most of it to my husband he can see it now. Now he is helpful in notifying me early in the situation and I fix it then instead of it lasting longer. I feel better functioning as a right hander. I no longer spend anytime writing, hammering, sawing, or bowling with my left hand. I try to eliminate others as well but eating and drinking left is harder because it is just so natural. My husband sits on my left side at dinners so I don't start with my left hand due to space.
I did crawl normally as a baby. However, I took dance, gymnastics, and twirling starting just before 3 years old. I was in class or practicing all the time. I became very good and it eventually it paid for school. Downside. I was always doing and trying to do things equally on both sides. It made for great talent but created other problems. I have 8 college degrees. I know, professional student and all. But they are in fine arts(paid for school, might as well get the paper) and science(human biology, anatomy). This topic came up on occassion. I already knew at that point that I had a problem and then understood why. So I started fixing on it. Skipping crawling is okay but you will need to do other 'cross crawl' activities and exercises with you child. Marching, kicking, hand to toe, hand to knee, elbow to knee, ladder climbing. All are correctly done with opposition. Left leg forward with right hand forward. Right leg forward with left hand forward. That's how you crawl, in opposition. That is how a dog and a horse trots. These activities don't have to be done ad nauseum, just some. Hopefully a few times a day in all totaling about 10 to 15 minutes a day. It works best if done at the age when they should be crawling. But cross crawl exercises even work with adults with dyslexia, they just have to spend more time. I think tap actually helps. For me I believe it was the twirling that messed with me. I twirled 2 and 3 baton and had to be good with my left hand. I injured my right hand pretty badly once and spent weeks twirling with just my left hand with my right hand in a brace. Sometimes this has its benefits: I am a good switch hitter and I can type about 90 words a minute.
You probably won't be able to find much on the topic. Medicine doesn't like to talk about anything that can be helped without meds. Remember, you need a dzs that is scarry and special and that only the pharmaceutical companies can help you with. If you try to take care of your own problems and don't depend upon the government then you are not being a good communist. I know this sounds jaded but the evidence is overwhelming.
ADD/ADHD are brain confusion/organization/firing issues. It wouldn't supprise me to find out that they are connected. I do not consider myself to be either of those truly. I can make myself sit still for anything, however, most people do things and talk too slow for my pleasure. I intentionally slow down my speech for most situations. I only know 4 people that can keep up. When we speak on the phone we fly. 2 of them know each other and we get together from time to time. Our conversations make no sense to others and we standardly interrupt each other without hesitation because the extra things being said are still heard and understood. We like it that way and it is somewhat humorous when other people walk away from the conversation they thought they wanted to join. 3 or 4 things going on at once is okay by me. I grew up doing homework watching TV. I have read homework while listening to lectures. I multitask well and am bored when too little is going on. I don't think that makes me ADD/ADHD. If it does then they are definately medicating a bunch of people unnecessarily. Of course if mom wants to sit on the couch and jr. wants to run around the house and play that doesn't mean that mom is lazy or jr is ADHD. Maybe it means that they are having different reactions to their malnutrition on a bagged, boxed, and canned food diet. And maybe jr needs a yard and a dog.
Anyway this is probably too much information, so sorry so long.
I wouldn't worry about the not crawling if the baby is naturally doing it themselves. But don't aid in the standing and walking. No walkers allowed, not the ones they sit in or walk behind. Put down a blanket and if the baby goes to something and pulls up, fine. Maybe you could bet down and crawl would help. The sit in, rolly, push with their feet, walkers are not good for the developement of their low back anyway. Too bad these things are given at baby showers and seem so convenient.
I hope you find some help or peace in here somewhere.
Pray for guidance and protection.
God Bless,
D.

1 mom found this helpful

sounds pretty ridiculous to me! neither of my kids really crawled, more like scooted on their tummy, and were both early walkers (my 1st walked at 10 mo. my 2nd walked at 9 mo.). they are 4 and 2 now and neither has any developmental or behavioral problems

1 mom found this helpful

This is an old wives tale from way back, I never crawled until my younger sister, 4 years younger, taught me how. I did pretty well without crawling. Both of kids walked very early, oldest at 10 months and youngest at 81/2 months (crazy I know). Both are scholars and somewhat perfectionists. I too was told by my mother in law that I better teach them to crawl....I didnt and it doesnt seem to make any difference.
By the way their physical development hasnt been hindered either. The oldest is in college studying dance and the youngest plays club soccer. Have fun!!!!K. K.

I was working towards my CDA (child development associates) and in classes we dicussed this. I don't believe it will cause dyslexia or ADHD. It's perfectly normal for babies to skip crawling. However, crawling does help minor and major motor skills whenever body parts are working on both sides of the body...arms and legs in the crawling motion... As long as she does crawl eventually it will be fine. No major harm done if she doesn't. As she gets older you can do exercises to help her motor skills. Get a crayon or chalk and have her draw circles in differend directions. )Right hand goes clockwise left counter-clockwise or vise-verse.) Sorry for the rambling, hope I helped.

I walked at 9 mo. and I'm a terribly slow reader. By having the baby crawl (alot) they develope both sides of the brain, it's not just a muscular activity.It's a brain development activity, thus developing the ability of the brain to track left to right & right to left when they begin reading. The Scientific Learning website is a wealth of info.

Hi J.,
I don't know about those other issues, but I know about 2 others personally. My son had such bad ear infections when he was a baby causing equilibrium problems. So he dragged himself on his belly, not the usual crawling on all 4's. After he had tubes placed in his ears, he went straight to running,never having gone through the normal crawling. When he began having trouble in middle school with reasoning ability, it was discovered that because he didn't crawl, he didn't understand different perspectives of thought. Seems he didn't learn the building blocks of reasoning thru crawling that the brain needs to learn sequencing. He could read books at age 4, was never dyslexic nor ADHD.
My sister's son had eye problems as an elementary age child. One eye was weaker and wandered. The eye dr. said he would have to have surgery to correct it. Sis learned that crawling and looking side to side as a baby would naturally strengthen the eye muscles and stimulate a part of the brain to help learning. She made up games for them to play, chasing and searching for a hidden item that she played with him so he would agree to crawling around like a baby. His eye muscles got stronger and he never needed the surgery. He was neither dyslexic nor ADHD.

Crawling does encourage proper sequential learning in the brain. The missed learning is often not discovered until the child is several years older having difficulty in school. Plus they're less willing to begin crawling. HTH C.

You're finding only speculation because that's all it is. My son did the same, as he realized right away that he could get it done faster and more efficiently if he walked! He stood at 9 months and there was no turning back. He's now almost eight, is an excellent student in an accelerated class, and has been on a competitive swim team for the past couple of years. Don't start worrying about something so insignificant as whether he prefers to crawl or walk.

Not crawling will not make you daughter dyslexic. It could have something to with sloppy handwriting later on though. OUr bodies never get the great workout that crawling gives us as children. So in theory her muscles in her arms and therefore her hands won't be as strong as they could be.There is also limited research to show that crawling does help kiddos brains work a little better because they are forced to use both sides of their body together and that takes lots of pratice.
Bottom line it's not the end of the world if she doesn't crawl but if you can have her do it, even if it's after she walks then do it. But don't loose sleep over it.
hth
J.

That is not necessarily true. But crawling develops pathways in a child's brain that will not be form otherwise except with time and other exercise. Their balance system is off a little and it cause a child to be prone to wonder more. My 10 yrs is like that and it took a while for us to learn what to do to help her concentrate. She's not ADHD but very distracted. She's also above average in her academics.

Some years ago when she started school and we noticed the difference, we searched ways to help her. We found a wonderful man who used to "train" kids with exercises, many of them mimicked crawling (eg. we did patty-care while lifting our opposing knee- vertical crawling if you can imagine) and her improvement was so great that her teacher asked if we were giving her any medication.

Unfortunately the man passed away and I'm not sure if anyone has taken over his life work. His name was Don Cage, maybe you can search.

Basically, if your child do not crawl, you can find ways to teach her those movements and that is what create the pathways, it doesn't matter how or when. If you have any question, contact me.

Don't worry, things will be fine. There's a lot out there to help any need you can imagine!
A.

I have a five year old son whom never crawled. He also didn't walk until he was 14 months old and I wasn't able to potty train him until he was 4. He may sound delayed but he is VERY smart. He knew his ABC's, phonics, numbers, colors, etc. by age 2. He is now in kindergarten and is at the top of his class. He is not ADHD or dyslexic. (My sister is dyslexic and a Kindergarten teacher, so it isn't the end of the world.) My point is, children all learn at different paces. Not crawling may be an possible indicator of dyslexia but not a sign of it. Just love your child, encourage her to develop at her own pace, and all will be good.
Good luck!!

I haven't the time at the moment to read the other responses but it's an issue with left right working together. Supposedly yes, it can cause a problem but then the real questions is, does it CAUSE it or does it indicate a problem in the brain that also causes these other issues? I have children with various special needs and what I have found is that many of those children I have been in contact with who have ADD, dyslexia, autism, ect DID crawl. Yet they still have problems.

If you want to help with the Left right thing, you can still teach her how to crawl even after she is walking. Learning to crawl FIRST could help with neurons developing in the right order, or it could be a bunch of crock. they are all theories without a whole lot of scientific evidence behind them. the good news is that scientists HAVE found that our brains are very pliable and are always growing, so even if those neurons don't connect at the right time they COULD connect later!!

S., mom to 5

Skipping crawling does not lead to dyslexia nor is it an indicator of dyslexia or ADHD. At 6 months old my son would get on his hands and knees but didn't ever really crawl...he moved his hands forward and then jumped his knees forward...sort of like a frog. At 7 months old he was walking. He is not dyslexic nor is he ADHD. He was hyper when he was younger but now that he's 14 yrs old he's outgrown most of the hyper-activeness. In comparison, I crawled for months and didn't walk until I was 1 yr old...I was very hyper when younger but not dyslexic or ADHD, and I outgrew the hyper-activeness too.
It sounds to me that your little girl is just progressing at her own rate and there is nothing to worry about.

Read you message and this fits my daughter. She walked before she crawled. Matter of fact she never crawled the way most babies do. She crawled with her feet and hands and only for about a month before she walked. She stated walking at 9 months. She is Dyslexic but with training early in life no one can even tell. (as long as you don't count spelling) But, that does not mean I agree or even know of the theory you speak of.

The only credible source is other mothers. I have raised six children, have 19 grandchildren and our 12th great will be here in Dec. We have had many babies walk before they actually crawled. One daughter of mine at age 10 months crawled mabe a week, then pulled up on the coffee table and literally walked to the end of the sofa. She never crawled again. She is now a mother of three with a engineering degree working on her Masters. One can't really say the 'ole wives tale that walk before crawl your baby will be impaired. I would encourage your child to crawl, but if walking is more desirable, let'em go.

If she is more likely, then skipping would be more of an indicator and not a cause. It's possible that people who have short attention spans and short patience were also quick to walk as babies. Just watch her and be sure to teach discipline and not be quick to reward with immediate gratification, so she doesn't come to expect it. Many cases of assumed and diagnosed ADHD are merely lack of discipline, thanks to the parents. I'm not saying that it's always bad parenting. Sometimes the parents are just frazzled and don't realize the effects that they indirectly have on their children. I'm living with that in my stepson. His mother wanted to have him diagnosed, and the therapist said that the screening showed some ADHD behavior that was learned from his environment. She is so frazzled and keeps him on edge all the time!

Hi J.,
I’m dyslexia and my mom says that I started crawling at 4 months. In all the therapy I’ve received for dyslexia over the years, I’ve NEVER has any professional tell me that skipping crawling is a cause of dyslexia or even an indicator for dyslexia. Dyslexia is an issue with the way our brain interprets signals from the nerves in our eyes and there are varying degrees of it, so you’re probably born with it if you’re going to have it. I wouldn’t worry too much about the two being related and if by some coincidence your daughter ends up being dyslexia there are excellent programs available to help overcome this issue. Hope this helps put you at ease.

Hi, I'm a dyslexia specialist in Midland and what you said about crawling is not a warning sign for dyslexia. Go to www.brightsolutions.us and watch a free video "Could it Be Dyslexia?". The biggest connection is a mom/dad or close relative with reading/learning problems. Check it out, L.

I have to say my daughter never crawled and she has adhd (she is 6 now). She has always been on the go and did not have time for crawling. She was pulling up when most babies are just rolling over and she literally willed herself to walk at 8 months of age. Though there may be a correlation between the two traits, I heavily doubt this indicates causation.

The moment my child was placed on my tummy in the birthing room. She pushed her legs against me and then the bed. She lifted her head and looked right at me.

She never crawled. She was walking at 6 months. The lady that took care of her as an infant told me all kinds of crazy things about how my child should not be walking so early. She said I should not teach her such long words. I just smiled and said I was sure it would all be ok. Sure enough she has always just been ready to do things on her own time. Sometimes way early and some times a bit behind. I would always just follow her lead but I NEVER underestimated her.

I have no proof of anything, but I think this is ridiculous. I knew a girl who never crawled, and she had trouble with balance and co-ordination (her parents got her some gymnastic lessons when she was younger to help her out, which greatly improved her skills in the area), but she was an excellent reader who had no problems with dyslexia that I ever heard of.

WEll, I have never heard of anything that delt with dyslexia, but my little boy skipped crawling and straight to walking (within weeks) and he has starbisimus which can lead to ADHD or dyslexia....Starbisimus is the crossing of the eyes...He know wears glasses and they are slowly fixing the problem...When your eyes are confused as to what they see, children act out and become hyper active and are confused to what they see in the world....have your childs eyes checked at 6 months by your doctor and ask for a referrel...if nothing shows up, they will check again at 4 years if there is no suspected problem....My son is now 2 1/2 and no one ever told me that eye sight could have such an impact...IF we would have known, he might not have had all these problems...good luck

As a child advocate at one of the workshops attended the professionals leading the workshop said that crawling is a very important part of development.

Yes i heard that is messes with hand eye coordination but let me tell you..... my son never crawled he rolled and he is very above average. he will be 4 on the 29 and we are working on reading, he subtracts and adds and is NOT any of those things. He goes to mothers day out and they bring him work to do out of the 5 years old class because he is so advanced he gets bored. I think by my experience that anything that is ever wrong with a child is hereditary or lack of teaching or toxins put in the body. Here is proof of what I said!!
http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20051028/gene-may-be-link...
This web site should make you feel better!

My mother seems to think that if they dont crawl long enough it causes problems with reading skills. I would ask your pedi. and see what they think. I dont know if there is much to do to stop her from walking. Our 9 month old crawls and is now trying to walk...while holding on to things. I personally think its an old wifes tell. Ask your doc though. Good luck.

Sorry, I don't know that much about ADHD
I am Dyslexic and I learn to walk before I crawl. This might be nothing... Although there does seem to be a relation to what he said.

I am also a Biology Major too

Early signs of dyslexia might be...
* doesn't appear to have a dominant hand, but may favor the right. on certain task like hitting a ball, she would most likely bat on the left side.
* Late talker...{but not slow in anyway, language is just process differently}
* Questions authority after a certain age and very good at back talking, because they are very curious and may spend a lot of times to themselves.
----
I mean you shouldn't worry because even if a child has dyslexia/ADHD, they are usually smarter than the average in my opinion.
Just keep track at her usual behaviors by months for easier determination by a psychologist. Although mines was very obvious because my memory when back as late as learning how to walk...

Plus she might just be a very determine girl, great quality and around this age most of her personality is staring to be developed perhaps memory as well.

I hope u get a peace of mind!!

Dyslexia is a hereditary disorder and so is ADHD. My brother didn't crawl. When he was in first grade they had to "reprogram" his brain. This meant to teach him how to go from a to z not skipping the middle letters. They had to teach him patterning. For instance they taught him how to crawl and to walk on a balance beam one foot in front of the other. There is a chance your daughter may have patterning issues later but it isn't the end of the world. And these things won't lead to dyslexia or ADHD. I think people just don't have the correct terminoligy for things and that is what they thought of. Good Luck!

My daughter, now 5 years old, never crawled a day in her life. She pulled up on furniture and walked along it to get to her destination, till at 9 months old she walked alone. Not only does my daughter have no learning disorders, she excells in learning and has proven to be ahead of the game. I veiw walking early and never crawling as a good thing, not a bad one, and could not see how it would link to a disorder whatsoever.

Hello J.,
I have a 8 year old daughter who never crawled. Not even a little bit. She took her first steps 2 days after her first birthday. She was very quiet until she was about 4 years old. She is now testing above average and doing very well in school. She has never had a single problems developmentally. You can most likely write this off as fiction.

I agree with the other poster that "not crawling" should not "cause" dyslexia, but the underlying CAUSE of dyslexia could CAUSE a child to skip crawling. Does that make sense? I also know of several normal, healthy children who skipped crawling...the just didn't like the feeling on their knees. I even know some healthy kids who walked on feet and hands instead of crawling. The best thing you can do for your child to create a normal language development is to talk and read. I am huge about repeating new words three or four times slowly in a row...like: "baby, bay-bee, bay-bee, baby" and encouraging your child to repeat what you say. Be careful though, all three of mine were forming basic sentences at two...now I can't keep them quiet!

Hi! J.,

I don't have a a site to refer to but I do know first hand. My son is 9 and he would only roll to what he wanted as a baby. He never tried to crawl. Three days before his 1st birthday he pulled himself up and the day of his 1st B.D. he started walking and never turned back. I too was concerned and was sure that something was wrong, but he is quite fine and is just like any other 9yr old boy. Hope this helps!

Peggy Sue

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