When should my child see an Occupational Therapist?
Your child could benefit from occupational therapy if they have:
- Poor coordination
- Decreased balance (“clumsiness”)
- Delayed motor development
- Low muscle tone or strength
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Has been diagnosed with a learning disability
- Difficulty completing tasks that seem easily attained by peers
- Behavioral challenges or social skill issues
- Decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities
- Decreased self-esteem and self-concept
- Decreased visual skills
- Difficulties with feeding
- If they are a picky or messy eater
Warning Signs for Delayed Motor Development.
If you notice some of the following things about your child, you may want to talk to their doctor or to another health professional such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.
- She is not able to use a pincer grasp (thumb and pointer finger)
- She does not point at things using his pointer finger
- He child’s movements see shaky or stiff
- She is not able to put things into containers
- They are not able to use both hands during play
24 months (2 years).
- She cannot imitate you drawing a vertical line ( l )
- He is still putting lots of toys in his mouth
- He is not able to put a simple, large puzzle piece into a wooden puzzle
- She is not able to put a simple shape into a shape sorter
- He cannot stack 2-3 blocks on top of one another
- She cannot feed herself with a spoon
36 months (3 years).
- His arms or hands seem very weak
- She is still holding a crayon with a full fist
- He is not able to hold scissors and snip on paper
- He is not able to draw straight lines or circles
- She cannot stack up several blocks
Where to go from here.
Want more guidance? Check out our free Fine and Gross Motor Online Screener.
Any time you are concerned about the development of your child, you should speak with their doctor as soon as you are able. Some of these issues can cause long-term problems for your child if left to wait.
Sources and Additional Resources.
University of Utah: Does My Child Need Occupational Therapy?
Understood.Org: Occupational Therapy: What You Need to Know