Occupational Therapy

Sensory-motor skills are present in babies and continue to develop throughout childhood. Babies can grasp rattles, respond to different sounds, and begin to visually track objects in the first months of life. As a child grows, these beginning skills lead into the further development of fine motor, visual motor and sensory processing skills. If you have any concerns about your child’s sensory-motor, fine motor or sensory processing development, you should contact a licensed Occupational Therapist.

Occupational therapy facilitates sensory-motor and fine motor development, including the following:

  • Sensory integration / sensory processing
  • Self-regulation
  • Attention
  • Motor planning
  • Manual dexterity
  • Bilateral motor coordination
  • Visual perception
  • Eye-hand coordination

Occupational therapy can help children who:

  • Have significant weakness in their upper trunk and shoulders and are unable to prop on forearms to lift their head and look at toys or people by four months of age
  • Do not have head control and/or trunk control to reach with their arms to interact with toys that are age appropriate
  • Have atypical muscle tone which limits their ability to use head, eyes and/or hands together to explore the environment
  • Are unable to use both hands together to hold a bottle or cup and/or to play with toys, string beads, put Lego’s together, etc
  • Lack motor coordination to finger feed by ten months of age and to spoon feed by twenty months of age
  • Have difficulty establishing a sleep/wake cycle or self-regulation skills and are seen as irritable infants
  • Have difficulty using vision and motor skills together (for example, scoop food onto a spoon and locate mouth or catch and throw a ball)
  • Are under or over sensitive to touch, movement, and/or sounds, are overwhelmed by sounds in the environment, or easily become upset by changes in routine
  • Experience difficulty with the performance of self-care activities, including brushing teeth, buttoning a shirt and tying shoes
  • Have difficulty with fine motor activities such as handwriting or cutting with scissors
  • Have difficulty with oral motor skills, including sucking, biting, chewing and licking
  • Have difficulty initiating or completing tasks such as doing a simple puzzle or playing on the slide or swing
  • Experience problems in school with visual motor and visual perceptual activities, such as copying from the board and completing assignments accurately
  • Exhibit an aversion to tactile input, including not wanting to participate in “messy” activities or becoming frustrated when physical contact is given
  • Have difficulty maintaining balance during motor activities, including climbing stairs, running, jumping or skipping
  • Have difficulty with cognitive tasks such as following instructions, problem solving and organization
  • Have difficulty in social situations, including interacting and playing appropriately with other children