When should you see an occupational therapist?

Red Flags for Sensory Issues

 If your child

  • Cries or covers ears when hearing loud or normal sounds
  • Has trouble paying attention to normal sounds
  • Is always banging, screaming or humming
  • Gets upset when touched by different fabrics or objects
  • Is always touching things (e.g. rubbing other people’s faces or skin, touching other people’s hair, etc.)
  • Doesn’t like swings or is nervous about stairs
  • Is constantly on the move (e.g. climbing on things, jumping from great heights, spinning, running, banging head)
  • Over-sensitive to light
  • Enjoys looking at things in an odd way, or in a repetitive way (e.g. flicks lights on and off, holds toys or fingers up close to his eyes, watches ceiling fans, etc.)
  • Appears extremely clumsy for his age
  • Has unusually high pain tolerance

 Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (Toddlers)

 If your child

  • cannot imitate you drawing a vertical line
  • is still putting lots of toys in his mouth
  • is not able to put a simple, large puzzle piece into a wooden puzzle
  • is not able to put a simple shape into a shape sorter
  • cannot stack 2-3 blocks on top of one another
  • arms and hands seem very weak
  • is not able to cut across a piece of paper with scissors
  • cannot copy a cross (+)
  • is not able to draw a circle and straight lines by herself
  • cannot string ½ inch beads onto a lace
  • cannot feed herself with a spoon and use a fork and spoon well
  • is not able to put on her own pants, loose socks, and shoes

 Red Flags for Fine Motor, Handwriting Development (School-Age Children)

 If your child

  • prefers to use one hand instead of two
  • switches use of hand frequently especially during writing tasks
  • cannot seem to decide which hand to use for fine motor activities
  • finger movements are shaky or stiff
  • arms and hands seem very weak
  • is not able to draw the basic shapes such as circle, cross (+), square, triangle
  • is not able to cut along straight and curved lines with scissors
  • avoids handwriting tasks and is having a lot of difficulty learning to print letters or numbers e.g. large letter sizing, lack of spacing, letter reversals

Red Flags for Social-Emotional Development (School-Aged Children)

If your child

  • displays frequent tantrums and meltdowns at home and in school
  • takes a long time to calm self him/herself down
  • unable to share or take turns with other children
  • is not interested in playing with other children
  • is extremely “rigid” about routines, and becomes extremely upset when things are changed
  • has extreme difficulty separating from you
  • is too passive or fearful, and does not want to try things other children his age are doing
  • has extreme fears that interfere with daily activities

Red Flags for Self-Care (School-Aged Children)

If your child

  • is unable to dress and undress self (except for fasteners or belt buckles)
  • requires assistance to put on and take off his/her shoes
  • requires assistance in showering and toothbrushing

If you have concerns about your child at any age, please feel free to contact us. You can also make a referral to our centre at anytime.