For children, playing is their occupation. It allows them to explore the world, learn to interact with it, and develop essential life skills. Some kids have difficulty mastering these skills to investigate and navigate the environment independently. They might have issues with motor skills, sensory processing, visual-perceptual skills, and other abilities. In those cases, occupational therapy can make a significant difference. Here are some signs that your child may need occupational therapy.
If your child is behind in developing common skills at a particular age, it may be a sign of a developmental delay. For example, if your one-year-old isn’t crawling yet or if your two-year-old doesn’t walk steadily, you should consult a medical professional about possible developmental issues. Occupational therapy can help your child reach these milestones in a timely manner.
Issues with Motor Skills
Putting your child in occupational therapy can also help if they have trouble with gross and fine motor skills. If your child has gross motor skill issues, they may have difficulties with their balance, strength, endurance, and coordination, affecting their ability to climb stairs, walk, run, and play. Fine motor skills include writing, cutting, holding small objects, picking up utensils, and tying shoelaces. If fine motor skill issues aren’t addressed, your child could have difficulty performing essential activities like writing and typing at school.
Sensory Processing Problems
Children with sensory processing issues can also benefit from occupational therapy. Those with sensor processing disorder perceive and respond to sensory information differently than most other people If your child seems to be overwhelmed by touch, taste, sounds, or smells, it is a common sign of sensory processing issues and might need occupational therapy.
Issues with Social Skills
Social skills help us connect and build relationships with other people and allow us to understand those around us. Occupational therapy may be helpful if your child is showing some eccentric or unusual behavior on the playground. For example, running into other children or standing too close to their peers in line. Difficulty talking or playing with other children is a good indicator that your child has issues with social interaction. Similarly, another red flag in a child is if they are more likely to stand on the side rather than engage in playground activities. They may watch the other children enjoy the jungle gym but not actually try it for themselves.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.