A little extra help from pediatric occupational therapy can help a child adapt and thrive in the classroom. Both you and his teacher can spot signs that indicate his/her challenges are more than a passing phase and could benefit from pediatric occupational therapist.
Here is a look at five indicators that your child might be a good candidate for the helping hand of a pediatric occupational therapist.
1) Always a bystander. School, especially in the youngest grades, is a lot about socializing, including participating with peers in activities that involve a motor component. If your child doesn’t participate, but instead observes, most of the time, he can miss out on chances to grow and adapt with his peers. If he won’t risk learning a new game and always wants to stick to familiar playground equipment, it might be time for a therapist to get involved. The child may have an underlying muscle weakness, a fear of climbing things that are high above ground, difficulty with coordination, or maybe has an issue with motor planning and has difficulty executing new motor tasks.
2) Too many risks. On the other hand, if your child takes way too many risks, compared to others in his age group, he may also be a good candidate for therapy. It is a safety issue for him and for other around him. He may have difficulty understanding where his body is in relation to space and peers.
3) Difficulty with fine motor tasks. If you child has trouble handwriting, tying her shoes, buttoning her coat, holding a pencil, cutting, coloring and folding, it could be she has problems with fine motor skills and dexterity. An occupational therapist may be able to help.
4) Can’t figure out math problems. If your son/daughter always gets the wrong answer with math problems, it might indicate he simply can’t line the numbers up properly. The problem is related to spatial organization or just organization in general. He may also have some difficulty with visual perceptual skills. Pediatric occupational therapy can help with this.
5) Has difficulty with paying attention. If your child has difficulty sitting still during seated activities in class, this can be an indicator of a child that may have some difficulty with sensory integration and he may seek movement as a way to compensate for his difficulty with regulating his senses.
Keep an eye on these classroom signs that may indicate an issue, and get help as soon as possible.