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Does My Child Need Therapy?

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Not sure if your child would benefit from occupational therapy? Use this checklist to help. 

 

How to tell if your child needs occupational therapy: 

 

Assessing Pediatric Therapy Needs For Children 0-3 Years Old

  1. Muscle tone seems poor/ flaccid

  2. When child is picked up they don't brace themselves, feels like dead weight

  3. Difficulty consoling self, unusually fussy

  4. Unable to bring hands together and bang toys

  5. Slow to roll over, creep, sit or stand

  6. Does not want to explore environment

  7. Difficulty babbling

  8. Cries or becomes tense when moved through space (like airplane)

  9. Frequent fisting of hands after 6 months of age

  10. Dislikes baths or waterplay

  11. Does not choose age appropriate toys

  12. Resists being held, is squirmy when cuddled too long, does not settle with touch

  13. Sucking difficulties

  14. Overly active, seeks excessive movement

  15. Unable to settle down, sleep difficulties

  16. Anxious or cries if child cannot see parent

       

Assessing Therapy Needs For Children 3-5 Years Old

  1. Clumsy, falls frequently, seems to trip over their own feet

  2. Muscle tone seems poor / flaccid

  3. When child is picked up they don't brace themselves, feels like dead weight

  4. Easily tantrums, does not recover within a few minutes

  5. Breaks crayons, pencil points, toys easily

  6. Frequently says “I can't do it” to age appropriate self-care & play tasks

  7. Overly active, unable to slow down, moves quickly from one toy to another

  8. Delayed language development

  9. Difficulty focusing attention, or over-focused and unable to shift attention to the next task

  10. Dislikes bathing, haircuts, nail trimming and cuddling

  11. Needs more practice than other children to learn new skills

  12. Avoids playground activities

  13. Unable to settle down, sleep difficulties

  14. Dislikes coloring in lines, doing puzzles or cutting with scissors

  15. Does not enjoy jumping, swings or having feet off the ground

 

Assessing Therapy Needs For Children 6-15 Years Old

  1. Clumsy, falls frequently, seem to trip over their own feet

  2. Breaks pencil tips frequently and/or writes with heavy pressure

  3. Dislikes handwriting, fatigues quickly with written class work

  4. Poor self-esteem and self-confidence

  5. Avoids gym class and sports activities

  6. Hard time paying attention and following directions

  7. Overly active, unable to slow down

  8. Frequent letter reversals such as b and d; poor letter/word spacing

  9. Difficulty focusing attention, or over-focused and unable to shift attention to the next task

  10. Dislikes swimming, bathing, haircuts, nail trimming, or hugs

  11. Needs more practice than other children to learn new skills

  12. Overreacts to touch, smell, taste and sounds

  13. Unable to settle down, sleep difficulties

  14. Finds it difficult to make friends with children of the same age, prefers to play with adults or younger children rather than peers

  15. Does not enjoy jumping, swings or having feet off the ground

 

Assessing Therapy Needs Of Adults

  1. Quickly fatigues, especially posture, slumps at desk

  2. Clumsy with everyday activities and accident prone

  3. Balance difficulties, becomes disoriented and/or fearful on elevators or escalators

  4. Poor self-esteem and self-confidence

  5. Disorganized in home and work activities

  6. Hard time following several step instruction for motor task

  7. Overly active, unable to slow down

  8. Dislikes crowds or accidental jostling in public situations such as standing in line at the movie theater or shopping in store aisles

  9. Difficulty focusing attention, or over-focused and unable to shift attention to the next task

  10. Difficulty in maintaining intimate relationships, difficulty with physical closeness, hugs, or cuddling

  11. Needs more practice than other people to learn new skills

 

*Adapted from OTA Watertown with permission (2005)

 

Still not sure? 

Call our office and one of our patient care coordinators will be able to answer any additional questions you may have about Springboard Pediatric. If you’re not sure if your child needs therapy services, let our therapists take a peak! We offer free 10-15 minute consultation (virtual or in-person) with one of our amazing therapists. At the end of the consultation, you will know whether an evaluation is right for your child.  

SPEECH THERAPY

Not sure if your child would benefit from speech and language therapy? Use this checklist to help. 

 

Communication developmental milestones:

 

Birth to 3 months:

  • Reacts to loud sounds

  • Calms down or smiles when spoken to

  • Recognizes your voice and calms down if crying

  • When feeding, starts or stops sucking in response to sound

  • Coos and makes pleasure sounds

  • Has a special way of crying for different needs

  • Smiles when he or she sees you

 

4 to 6 Months

  • Follows sounds with his or her eyes

  • Responds to changes in the tone of your voice

  • Notices toys that make sound

  • Pays attention to music

  • Babbles in a speech-like way and uses many different sounds including sounds that begin with p, b, and m

  • Laughs

  • Babbles when excited or happy

  • Makes gurgling sounds when alone or playing with you

 

7 Months to 1 Year

  • Enjoys playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake

  • Turns and looks in the direction of sounds

  • Listens when spoken to

  • Understands words for common items such as “cup,” “shoe,” or “juice”

  • Responds to requests (for example, “Come her”)

  • Babbles using long and short groups of sounds (for example, tata, upup, bibibi)

  • Babbles to get and keep attention

  • Communicates using gestures such as waving or holding up arms

  • Imitates different speech sounds

  • Has one or two words (for example, “hi,” “dog,” “dada,” “mama,”) by first birthday

 

1 or 2 years

  • Knows a few parts of the body and can point to them when asked

  • Follows simple commands (for example, “roll the ball”) and understands simple questions (for example, “Where’s your shoe?”) 

  • Enjoys simple stories, songs, and rhymes

  • Points to pictures, when named, in books

  • Acquires new words on a regular basis

  • Uses some one- or two-word questions (for example, “Where kitty?” or “Go bye-bye?”_

  • Puts two words together (for example, “more cookie”)

  • Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words 

 

2 to 3 Years

  • Has a word for almost everything

  • Talks about things that are not in the room

  • Uses two- to three-word phrases to talk about and ask for things

  • Uses k, g, f, t, d, and n sounds

  • Understands opposites like go-stop, big-little, up-down

  • Asks “why?”

  • Speaks in a way that is understood by family members and friends

  • Names objects to ask for them and to direct attention to them

 

3 to 4 Years

  • Hears you when you call from another room

  • Answers simple “Who?” “What?” “Where?” and “Why?” questions

  • Talks about activities at daycare, preschool, or friends’ homes

  • Uses sentences with four or more words

  • Speaks easily without having to repeat syllables or words

 

4 to 5 Years

  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about it

  • Hears and understands most of what is said at home and in school

  • Understands words for order, like first, next, and last.

  • Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • Uses sentences that give many details

  • Tells stories that stay on topic

  • Communicates easily with other children and adults

  • Keeps conversation going

  • Says most sounds correctly except for a few (l, r, s, v, z, ch, sh, th)

  • Uses rhyming words

  • Names some letters and numbers

  • Talks in different ways, depending on the listener and place. Your child may use short sentences with younger children. He may talk louder outside than inside.

 

This checklist is based upon How Does Your Child Hear and Talk? (courtesy of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association.)

 

Your child would benefit from a speech and language assessment if they are not meeting developmental milestones.

 

Still not sure? 

Call our office and one of our patient care coordinators will be able to answer any additional questions you may have about Springboard Pediatric. If you’re not sure if your child needs therapy services, let our therapists take a peak! We offer free 10-15 minute consultation (virtual or in-person) with one of our amazing therapists. At the end of the consultation, you will know whether an evaluation is right for your child.  

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FEEDING THERAPY

 

Does your child:

  • have ongoing poor weight gain (dropping percentiles on the growth curve) or weight loss?

  • have ongoing choking, gagging, or coughing during meals?

  • have ongoing problems with vomiting?

  • avoid all foods in a specific texture (wet, squishy, crunchy, etc.) or nutrition (meat, vegetables, starches, fruits, etc.) group?

  • have less than 20 foods that they are able to consistently eat? Especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those that were lost.

 

Has your child had:

  • more than one incident of nasal reflux (vomiting or spitting up out their nose)?

  • a traumatic choking incident, where the child choked on something and then subsequently stopped eating certain foods?

  • a history of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues?

 

Was your child unable to:

  • transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age?

  • accept any table food solids by 12 months of age?

  • transition from the breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age?

  • wean off of baby foods by 16 months of age?

 

Have you (as a parent or caregiver)

  • reported the child as being “picky” at 2 or more well child checks?

  • reported that your infant cries and/or arches at most meals?

  • felt like mealtimes are a battle, and that you are always fighting about food with your child?

  • reported that your child is difficult for everyone to feed?

  • had a history of an eating disorder, in addition to having a child who is not meeting weight gain goals? (Please note – parents are not viewed as causing the feeding problem in their child, however, they may be more stressed around meals and need extra support.)

 

Still not sure? 

Call our office and one of our patient care coordinators will be able to answer any additional questions you may have about Springboard Pediatric. If you’re not sure if your child needs therapy services, let our therapists take a peak! We offer free 10-15 minute consultations (virtual or in-person) with one of our amazing therapists. At the end of the consultation, you will know whether an evaluation is right for your child.