How Do I Know If My Child Needs Occupational Therapy?

Assessing 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

        *Adapted from OTA Watertown with permission (2005)

Assessing 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

       

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Assessing 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 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

*Adapted from OTA Watertown with permission (2005)

Assessing 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

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Morristown, NJ  07960

Tel: 973-971-0770

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