Occupational Therapy

Consequences of Delaying Early Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Your child’s early years in life are very important because during these years their cognitive, physical, and social growth and development take place. The first three years are crucial since your child’s brain is evolving during this phase.

Sadly, not all kids pass through these important developmental milestones successfully. Some don’t develop and mature as they should and this results in restricted or delayed progression and advancement. Pediatric occupational therapy can be helpful if you face problems early. There could be consequences of delaying early pediatric OT, however, such as:

1. Motor Development

If your child struggles with fine motor skills and doesn’t get the help they need, they could have difficulties with things like:

  • Holding a pencil
  • Manipulating puzzles and toys
  • Using buttons, zippers, or shoelaces
  • Not developing a hand dominance at the right time
  • Poor number/letter formation; poor handwriting

If they struggle with gross motor skills and don’t get the help they need early enough, it can result in them getting behind in strength, movement or balance.

2. Sensory Processing

Children with sensory processing difficulties can become distracted easily by other kids or adults close by or talking at normal levels. They can feel pain or discomfort from things like:

  • Playing on a jungle gym
  • Swinging on a swing
  • Walking by something and brushing up against it with their bare skin

Without early pediatric occupational therapy, they might avoid things like gym class, recess or even riding a bike since they become uncomfortable with movement. OT helps them improve how they regulate sensory input.

3. Routine Activities

OT helps children encountering troubles in a variety of daily activities like dressing, writing, brushing their teeth, and toileting. Not getting your child early intervention can slow down or hinder their ability to develop these essential daily living abilities and self-hep skills.

Involving your child in early OT intervention as soon as you start suspecting delays is key. It will not only help keep them on the path of being able to make the most of their skills and abilities they develop in their early years, but also offers crucial support to you and your other household family members.

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