How to Tell If Your Child Needs Occupational Therapy?

Female tutor and little girl counting with abacus in playroom

Doesyour child have problems with day-to-day activities at home, in school or thecommunity? Do they experience difficulties that seem unusual? If you’veanswered yes to any of these two questions, then there’s a good chance thatyour child needs occupational therapy.

Simply put, occupational therapy is a treatment that supports a kid and their family when they experience problems in the following areas:

Fine motor skills

Fine motor skills refer to a child’s ability to execute precise movements with hands, wrists, toes and the like. If your child is battling with excellent motor skills, they might have difficulty with any of the following:

Holding objects such as toys, pencils, cups and the like

  • unable to secure zippers, buttons, shoelaces
  • trouble colouring, drawing, tracing, prewriting shapes
  • Poor handwriting, letter/number development
  • Withdrawing from activities that require great motor skills

Gross motor skills

Gross motor abilities help us move and coordinate our arms, legs, and other body parts. They include larger muscles that help us control our body. A child who is behind in motion, strength, and balance might have difficulty with the following:

  • Safely navigating stairs on their own
  • Balancing both sides of the body; poor balance
  • Comprehending the idea of right and left

Their muscle tone, or muscle stress and resistance, might be higher or lower than the proper developmental milestone. They may likewise be afraid of feet leaving the ground and avoids tasks and games that demand motor skills.

Sensory skills

Sensory processing refers to one’s ability to interpret information that we get through our senses like sight, noise and odour. Your kid may be oversensitive to things around them and reveal the following signs:

  • Over or under-responsive to specific feelings (high discomfort tolerance, heightened reactivity to sound, touch, or motion)
  • Always moving, leaping, crashing, bumping
  • Quickly sidetracked by visual or auditory stimuli
  • Trouble coping with change and inability to calm self when disturbed

Social skills

Social interaction skills help us have relationships and interact with people. They help us bond with other individuals in our life. Your child might have delayed social skills if they show some of the following things:

  • Problem adjusting to new environments and engaging with family and peers
  • Delayed language abilities
  • Difficulty in coping with school

Knowledge skills

Learning difficulties are another kind of developmental hold-up. If your child is challenged by any of the following, you may wish to seek advice from an occupational therapist:

  • Easily side-tracked and unable to follow instructions or finishing tasks
  • Tires quickly with school work
  • Poor impulse control
  • Not staying up to date with work at school

Play skills

Play skills are abilities that can assist a child to make sense of the world around them. A child can gain self-confidence, discover issue solving, and develop social skills through play. Your child might be developmentally postponed if they show one of the following symptoms:

  • Having Difficulty with imitative play
  • Wanders without purposeful play
  • Does not take part with peers/siblings when playing
  • Does not understand the ideas of sharing and turn to take
  • Shifts quickly from one activity to the next
  • Takes part in repetitive activities for hours


Keep in mind that children are unique in their way and the pace in which they develop the above-mentioned skills can differ. This does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong. However, if you believe your child might be struggling with certain areas in their development, then that is a good enough reason to seek occupational therapy for children.