The body’s mid-line is an imaginary line down the centre of the body that divides the body into left and right. Crossing the body’s mid-line is the ability to reach across the middle of the body with the arms and legs. This allows children to cross over their body to perform a task on the opposite side of their body (e.g. being able to draw a horizontal line across a page without having to switch hands in the middle, sitting cross-legged on the floor, or being able to insert puzzle pieces using the dominant right hand when the puzzle is placed on the left-hand side of the body.
Crossing the body’s mid-line is an important developmental skill needed for many everyday tasks such as drawing or writing, putting on a sock and shoe with both hands, eating with utensils, and hitting a ball with a bat.
When a child spontaneously crosses the mid-line with the dominant hand, then the dominant hand gets the practice needed to develop good fine motor skills by repeated and consistent hand dominance. If a child avoids crossing the mid-line, then both hands tend to get equal practice at developing skills and the child’s true handedness may be delayed. This means that once a child starts school, learning to write is much more difficult when they have two less skilled hands rather than one stronger, more skilled (dominant) hand.
Difficulty crossing the mid-line also makes it challenging to visually track a moving object from one side to the other (left to right) when reading, meaning reading can also be delayed.
Body awareness: is the information that muscles and joints send to the brain to inform us of our body’s position
Bilateral integration skills: means using both sides of the body at the same time.
Dominance: is the consistent use of one hand or foot most often that allows refined movement control to develop.
Core stability: The muscles of the trunk help to stabilize the body so the arms and legs can be moved with control.
Planning & Sequencing: The ability to successfully follow multi-step instructions to achieve a defined outcome or endpoint.-
When a child has difficulties crossing the body mid-line , they might also have difficulties with:
When a child has difficulties with crossing the body’s mid-line, he/she might also have difficulties with: