Building Kids Up

Additional Information

Sample OT Groups/Updates

Could your child benefit from Skill-by-Skill's OT services?

Parents notice lots of things about their children. Sometimes they are cute little phrases or habits. Sometimes they are major developmental milestones. Sometimes they are signs that point to an underlying difficulty the child is having. These “signs” or behaviors are not always obvious, and may even be developmentally typical at a certain age or to a certain degree. It can be hard to sort out. In an effort to help parents identity possible areas of concern, here is a (fairly) comprehensive list of behaviors to “watch for.” If you see any of them in your child, he/she could benefit from a Skill-by-Skill session and/or an individual Occupational Therapy assessment.

These suggest a need in the area of fine motor:

  • Difficulty holding a pencil or poor handwriting

  • Writing with too much pressure (breaking pencil lead) or too little pressure

  • Difficulty holding/using scissors

  • Difficulty with buttons, zippers, or tying shoes

  • Poor hand/eye coordination

  • Lack of interest in grasping activities

  • Difficulty holding or effectively using utensils to self-feed

  • Clumsiness

  • Not using both hands during fine-motor activities

  • Demonstrates weak hand strength (drops items, poor endurance for handwriting/cutting)

These suggest a need in the area of sensory processing:

  • Poor balance, falls often

  • Poor postural control (uses arms to stabilize body in sitting)

  • Knocks things over, bumps into things/people often, clumsiness

  • Easily frustrated by tasks, cannot follow steps to complete

  • Difficulty with attention or sitting still (fidgets)

  • Frequent, intense tantrums

  • Difficulty transitioning between activities

  • Difficulty with any change from routine, easily overwhelmed

  • Difficulty controlling emotions so much that it interferes with daily life

  • Excessive or age inappropriate biting, hitting or screaming

  • Very sensitive to things touching them, things that they hear, see or smell:

    • Tags in clothing, seams of socks, certain materials

    • Does not like to be bathed, have hair washed or brushed

    • Does not like to be touched, tickled or hugged

    • Strongly dislikes bright lights

    • Extremely picky with foods (gags, eats only a few things, refuses to the point of a problem)

    • Overwhelmed by loud music or crowds

  • Very fearful/cautious:

    • Avoids activities with movement like swinging

    • Avoids being upside down or up high

  • Craves movement, engages in risk-taking

    • Jumps from high surfaces

    • Likes spinning, swinging, crashing, falling

  • Touches everything    

    • Squeezes others often

    • Chews on everything

    • Uses to much force/pressure (breaks pencil lead during handwriting)

    • Prefers “rough play” (wrestling, tackling, etc.) much more than peers

    • Has little to no response to pain

    • Aggressive

These suggest a need in the area of socialization and/or self care:

  • Difficulty making friends

  • Difficulty interacting with or getting along with peers

  • Difficulty paying attention or following instructions

  • Does not participate in age-appropriate play

  • Poor eye contact

  • Difficulty with self-care activities

    • Washing hands

    • Dressing self

    • Brushing teeth

    • Brushing hair

    • Toileting

    • Feeding self

    • Blowing nose

  • Difficulty meeting school expectations

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