Does my child need Occupational Therapy?

If your child is experiencing difficulties with day -to -day functioning at home, at school or in the community then an Occupational Therapist may be able to help. Treatment is designed to support the child and their family when they experience difficulties in any of the following areas:

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

  • difficulties with pencil grasp
  • poor handwriting, letter/number formation
  • difficulties using scissors
  • difficulty manipulating tools such as spoon
  • not developing a dominant hand
  • difficulties with colouring, drawing, tracing
  • tying shoes laces, doing buttons, using utensils

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS

  • lacks motor co-ordination, clumsy
  • confuses movements of left and right
  • low muscle tone
  • poor balance
  • poor ball skills
  • fearful of feet leaving the ground
  • difficulty co-ordinating both sides
  • doesn’t cross midline

DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY

  • not reaching developmental milestones of sitting, crawling and walking
  • not learning at age appropriate level
  • not developing age appropriate play and social skills

SENSORY INTEGRATION PROBLEMS

  • overly sensitive or heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or movement,
  • under responsive to certain sensations i.e. high pain tolerance, doesn’t notice cuts/bruises
  • constantly moving, jumping, crashing, bumping
  • easily distracted by visual or auditory stimuli
  • emotionally reactive
  • difficulties coping with change
  • inability to calm self when upset

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS/ASPERGER’S SYNDROME

  • difficulties interacting socially and engaging with family and peers
  • difficulties with sensory processing
  • difficulties with changing to new environments
  • delayed language skills
  • overly focused on one subject e.g. space, universe, dinosaurs
  • not coping in the school environment

LEARNING DISABILITIES—ADD/ADHD

  • unable to concentrate and focus at school
  • easily distracted
  • difficulty following instructions and completing work
  • fatigues with school work
  • poor impulse control
  • hyperactivity or low energy
  • not keeping up with workload at school
  • difficulty learning new material

VISUAL PROCESSING

  • spacing and sizes of letters
  • difficulty recognizing letters
  • loses their place when reading or copying for the board
  • poor eye contact
  • difficulties with tracking and crossing midline
  • difficulty finding objects amongst other objects
  • difficulties copying from the board
  • confuses left and right
  • makes reversals after age 7

PLAY SKILLS

  • needs adult guidance to initiate play
  • difficulty with imitative play
  • wanders aimlessly without purposeful play
  • moves quickly from activity to the next
  • does not explore toys appropriately
  • participates in repetitive play for hours e.g. lining up toys
  • does not join in with peers/siblings when playing
  • does not understand concepts of sharing and turn taking