Occupational Therapy May Help Your Child Develop Fine Motor Skills

The proper development of fine motor activities is important for normal growth and development. If your child has problems with fine motor activities like holding a pencil or using scissors, then they might struggle in school. These motor skills can be developed with the help of an occupational therapist, but it's best to begin treatment as soon as the problem is discovered, which might be in the toddler years or even as late as kindergarten. Here are some things to know about this type of development in your child.

Kids Develop At Different Rates

Before worrying that your child is behind on their fine motor skills, talk to your doctor about having an OT assessment. Children develop at different rates, so you shouldn't necessarily compare your child to another child. An OT assessment can pinpoint weak areas and identify areas that need to be worked on to help your child get caught up on development if it's necessary. Your child may need visits to the occupational therapist, or you might be taught activities to do with your child at home.

Delays In Gross Motor Skill May Be Present As Well

Fine motor skills include things that involve the hands such as buttoning clothing, using scissors, writing, brushing teeth, and grasping things. Gross motor skills are large movements like rolling over or crawling on the floor. When gross motor skills lag behind, the development of fine motor skills could be affected as a result. By working on the larger muscle groups, the smaller muscles in your child's hands could benefit from better coordination and improved strength. For instance, crawling on the floor on the palms helps make the hands stronger. To develop the larger muscle groups, your child may do exercises on a ball, skip, tightrope walk on a string, jump, and climb. General playground skills give your child's larger muscles a good workout, which is one reason activity is important for developing kids.

The OT Treatment Is Customized

The OT activities for developing fine motor skills your child is given are customized to your child's ability. The goal is to strengthen muscles and coordination so your child can advance to holding a pencil or scissors properly. If you keep prompting your child to use scissors before they can manipulate them, your child may develop bad habits that are hard to undo. Plus, if your child struggles, they may give up and not benefit from the activity. OT activities for kids are generally fun things like working puzzles, playing games, and finger painting so the kids stay engaged and complete the exercises.

Contact a business like Your Therapy Source for more information about fine motor OT activities.