Could your child benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Could my Child Benefit from Occupational Therapy?

The skill development of young babies and children progresses along a continuum, where early automatic and random movements gradually become more specific and purposeful and where later, mature movement, vision and play behaviours depend on the development of earlier sensory and body movement skills.

The Occupational Therapist assesses and facilitates the development of

  • Hand skills
  • Visual skills
  • Emotional Regulation: Co-regulation to help develop self-regulation
  • Daily occupations (including problems in one or more of these)
  • Play
  • Independence skills e.g. bathing, dressing, eating 
  • Sleep
  • Sensory Processing

All children develop differently but could yours benefit from Occupational Therapy?

We have compiled a series of checklists for different age groups. If your child is experiencing difficulty in three or more of the areas listed Occupational Therapy may be beneficial.

0 - 12 Month Checklist
0 - 3 Year Checklist
3 - 6 Year Checklist
School Age Checklist
High School Checklist
Sensory Processing Checklist
Teacher Checklist

Does a student in your class need Occupational Therapy or Extra Lesson?

3 – 6 Age Group

Difficulties in three or more of the following areas may indicate your child may benefit from Occupational Therapy:

  • Immature drawing or avoids drawing
  • Difficulty with cutting, tearing, gluing and threading
  • Awkward pencil grasp or sore hands when drawing
  • Has not developed a consistent dominant hand.
  • Difficulty maintaining an upright posture at mat time
  • Constant wriggling at mat time.
  • Difficulty learning alphabet for some time after it has been introduced
  • Appears not to hear and follow instruction
  • Difficulty learning a new task
  • Disorganised, loses things
  • Clumsy or awkward
  • Falls a lot, carries lots of bumps and scrapes
  • Poor stamina and endurance
  • Finds it hard to attend and concentrate
  • Day dreamy, under-responsive
  • ‘Always on the go’, fidgety behaviour
  • Overly emotional, hypersensitive or anxious
  • Avoids messy play or constantly seeking messy play
  • Over-reacts to light touch
  • Over-reacts to loud noises
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Difficulty with self-care (eg toileting, pulling up clothing, shoe laces)
  • Play skills different to others
  • Interacts with others through crash and bang or pulls away from social interaction.
  • Unaware of others personal space
  • Speaks either too loud or too soft
  • Controls his play and his environment
School Age

Does a Child in My Class need Occupational Therapy? Difficulties in three or more of the following areas may indicate your child would benefit from Occupational Therapy:

  • Difficulty keeping up with peers
  • Avoids reading and handwriting tasks
  • Awkward pencil grip, poor fine motor skills.
  • Skips lines as he/she reads.
  • Difficulty maintaining an upright posture, even in sitting
  • Difficulty remembering and following instructions
  • Clumsy or awkward
  • Poor balance, lack of coordination
  • History of ear infections
  • Poor stamina and endurance
  • Difficulties maintaining attention and concentration
  • Day dreamy, under-responsive
  • ‘Always on the go’, fidgety behaviour
  • Easily distracted
  • Overly emotional, hypersensitive or anxious
  • Avoids messy play, seeks messy play
  • Crash and burn child, sensory seeker
  • Over-reacts to light touch
  • Over-reacts to loud noises
  • Play skills different to others
  • Difficulty with holding and keeping friends
  • Unaware of others personal space
  • Speaks either too loud or too soft
  • Controls his play and his environment
High School

Does a student in your class need Occupational Therapy or Extra Lesson? Most teachers know when a student needs intervention but often the dilemma is which form of intervention to recommend and when. Occupational Therapy may be indicated when there is a cluster of three or more of these signs:

  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Fidgety behaviour, difficulty sitting still.
  • Poor fine motor skills, scissor skills and or handwriting
  • ‘Slouching’ posture especially at the desk
  • Distracted or easily led by others in the class
  • Poor coordination
  • Tends to stand back rather than participate
  • Fearful, anxious
  • Demonstrating sensory signs such as under or over responsivity to sensory input.
  • Presents as younger than his or her age
  • Not performing as well as you would have expected.
  • Poor organizational skills (eg use of diary, homework)
  • Auditory processing difficulty.
  • Poor awareness of him/herself on others
  • Pre-existing conditions of hypermobility syndrome, autism, ADHD
  • Needing fine motor assessment for WACE exams .