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When to seek occupational therapy support:​

Fine Motor

  • Immature crayon/marker/pencil grasp

  • No hand preference tendencies emerging by age 4

  • Difficulty drawing, colouring, copying or cutting (as per expected development)

  • Avoids fine motor activities

  • Hand tremor

  • Difficulty with hand action songs

  • Difficulty printing name by age 5

  • Easily breaks toys


Visual Motor

  •  Difficulty colouring within the lines

  •  Difficulty cutting along lines, around simple shapes

  •  Unable to copy simple lines or shapes

  •  Difficulty tracing over lines and shapes


Visual Perceptual

  •  Difficulty naming or matching colours, shapes, sizes, letters

  •  Difficulty in completing age-appropriate puzzles


Self-help skills

  •  Overly fussy eater, consistently avoids certain texture

  •  Does not assist with or learn to dress/undress

  •  Does not learn to drink from a cup

  •  Avoids using a spoon


  •  Mouths things excessively after 15 months

  •  Avoids activities due to messiness (sand, glue, putty, paint)

  •  Seems overly sensitive to being touched

  •  Dislikes certain types of clothing, impacting participation in activities

  •  Overly sensitive to noises or lights

  •  Has trouble keeping hands to self

  •  Is often unaware of being bumped or hurt

  •  Has trouble sitting in circle, standing in line or interacting in close games

  •  Lacks body awareness (drawing a person, naming body parts, etc.)



  •  Avoids activities that challenge balance

  •  Seeks out movement constantly (spin, bounce, jump, run)

  •  Stumbles or falls frequently

  •  Unable to sit still

  •  Poor coordination in all activities; movements are sloppy, or weak, awkward, stiff

  •  Avoids playground equipment

  •  Avoids gross motor games

  •  Easily fatigued

  •  Poor use of one side of body vs. the other



  •  Distractible, restless, inattentive

  •  Poor organization, trouble starting and continuing an activity without an adult

  •  Short attention, doesn’t finish what is started

  •  Does not tolerate any change in activities/routines

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