Signs That Your Child May Need Occupational Therapy
What are some of the warning signs to look for in your kids?
- Severe reactions to everyday situations like tags on clothing, loud noises, haircuts, and teeth brushing
- Difficulty sitting still, always fidgeting, “on the go”
- Delays in motor milestones like sitting unsupported, crawling, and walking
- Clumsy and uncoordinated
- Takes longer than other children his or her own age to learn a new skill
- Seems to have trouble using his or her 2 hands together to perform tasks such as buttoning, cutting with scissors, typing, etc.
- Does not seem to know how to play with toys appropriately
- Messy, disorganized, and seems to misplace everything
- Very rigid or set in his or her ways; can not transition easily from one activity to the next
- Tantrums easily
- Very anxious or worried; difficulty separating from caregivers
How can Occupational Therapy Help?
A pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT) analyzes why a child is not able to perform the tasks that he or she should be doing developmentally
Pediatric OTs examine the following qualities in a child to determine why they are having difficulty with certain skills
- Sensory Processing Skills Sensory Processing is the brain’s ability to take in sensory information, interpret the information, and use the information to make sense of the world
- Motor Planning Motor Planning is the ability to come up with the idea or intent to perform a task, organize and sequence the steps of the task, and execute the motor movements needed to perform the task
- Visual Perceptual Skills The ability for the brain to interpret what the eyes are seeing
How Do These Qualities Effect My Child? (Here are some examples)
A child with sensory processing difficulties interprets sensory information incorrectly. This means he can avoid sensory input that feels harmful to him, or seek sensory input that his body does not get enough of. Avoiders miss out on important learning opportunities. Seekers often are seen as trouble makers! These kids often develop behavioral patterns that can be hard to break if they do not receive intervention.
Children with motor planning issues may have difficulty initiating a task and wait for an adult to structure an activity for them. They may appear disorganized or do things in an illogical way. These kids may seem very clumsy or awkward with their movements.
Have your child screened by a professional at one of our therapy centers in San Diego or Chula Vista, California. Check out our screening schedule here.