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Early Motor Assessment

We conduct initial motor assessments, which help determine whether an infant needs a more thorough assessment for possible motor development challenges.

What do we do?

An occupational therapist conducts a General Movements Assessment (GMA). General movements (GMs) are movement patterns that an infant does on their own and without any distraction or stimulation. These movements are videotaped, reviewed and scored by a healthcare provider trained in the GMA.  GMs provide information of how the young central nervous system is developing and are predictive of later motor conditions.

The occupational therapist scores a video of your baby lying on their back while they are awake and calm. The video can be recorded at home and uploaded to a secure web link provided by us. It is a quick, simple, standard test but it must be done within a specific time in your baby's development.

Currently, we only accept referrals from the BC Women's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Royal Columbian Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Surrey Memorial Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

How do we book your appointment?

You will receive a letter that confirms we have received a referral to assess your baby. The best date for GMA is different for every baby due to the baby’s gestational age. When your baby’s GMA date approaches, the booking clerk will call to confirm your information and ask for your consent.


Video recording at home

  1. The booking clerk will provide the assessment date range and email you step-by-step instructions explaining how to record and upload the video to the secure web link and . 

  2. Record a 2 to 5 minute video of your baby on any day during the given dates and upload the video to the secure web link according to the instructions. If you cannot record or upload the video, consider asking a family member, friend or the booking clerk for technical support. 

  3. Once received, the OT will score the video. The booking clerk will arrange a zoom or phone appointment to discuss the assessment results. If needed, the OT will make appropriate referrals or recommend an appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician for more assessments.

Technical support at Sunny Hill Health Centre

If you are unable to have someone help record or upload the video, please contact the booking clerk. We can make an in-person appointment to record your baby’s movements at Sunny Hill Health Centre, BC’s Children Hospital (Entrance #5). 

The appointment takes around 15 to 30 minutes. For video recording, your baby must be awake, calm and alert. Ensure your baby is fed, changed and comfortable for the appointment. 

Once recorded, the OT will score the video. The booking clerk will arrange a zoom or phone appointment to discuss the assessment results. 

About the secure file sharing platform 

We use Sync, a secure file sharing platform which protects the privacy of your video. The video will be saved to a secure location and deleted from the platform. We do not accept videos sent by email or other platforms.

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SOURCE: Early Motor Assessment ( )
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