An occupational therapy screening includes screening of your child’s functional skills that are needed to complete their daily activities such as playing, learning, and taking care of themselves. Areas assessed include: visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, fine and gross motor abilities, and social and interpersonal skills.
Fine Motor Skills are necessary to perform activities that involve manipulating items using the small muscles of the hands and fingers, such as opening a door.
Bilateral coordination tasks involve using both hands to complete a task, such as stringing beads.
Visual motor skills involve the use of the eyes and hands together to complete a task. Many early academic and self-care tasks involve the use of fine motor and visual motor skills, such as cutting, drawing and coloring, manipulating fasteners, and completing puzzles.
Visual perception is our ability to visually interpret the surrounding environment. This skill is necessary for early academic and self-care tasks such as matching shapes, colors, and letters, and copying patterns (such as block designs).
Gross motor skills involve activities that use the larger muscles of the body to complete, such as running, jumping, and kicking a ball. Strength, balance, and coordination are necessary skills to complete age appropriate gross motor tasks.
You can use the following questions to guide you to see if your child would benefit from an occupational therapy screening:
- Does your child have difficulty with fine motor activities, such as cutting, holding a writing utensil correctly, or manipulating fasteners (such as snaps and buttons)?
- Does your child have difficulty with social skills or interpersonal skills, such as attention, taking turns or playing appropriately with other children?
- Does your child have difficulty navigating playground equipment or seem clumsy?
- Does your child seem to avoid or dislike activities that seem enjoyable to a majority of their peers?
- Is your child overly sensitive to any sensory experiences such as smells, textures, foods, movement, or noise? Do they seek out excessive sensory experiences in any of the above categories that interfere with daily activities?
- Does your child have difficulty with transitions or following a routine at home or school?
- Does your child have difficulty with coordination tasks, such as throwing or kicking a ball?
- Does your child have difficulty completing visual motor tasks such as puzzles, copying shapes, or matching games?