Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational therapy (OT)?

Occupational therapy supports a child’s and family’s ability to participate in daily activities, such as getting ready for bed or taking the bus to school. An occupational therapy practitioner will keep the focus on the things you and your child need and want to do – your child’s and family’s goals, your child’s activities, your child’s independence and function and success. Occupational therapy can help your child achieve their goals, stay as healthy and productive as possible, participate in everyday activities.

Why would a child need Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy can help a child in many ways. The core of OT is to promote participation. This can mean helping a child with concentration challenges, supporting children with Autism to socialize with peers, helping children in wheelchairs participate with peers, helping children with disabilities get dressed everyday, or helping all children to use toys and tools such as crayons. OT will work with each child and their parents to allow the child to be as independent as possible.

Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

(9-12 months)

Fine Motor:

  • Use thumb and index finger (pincer grasp) to pick up small objects like cheerios
  • Claps hands
  • Bangs two cubes/items held in hands
  • Gross Motor:

  • Able to sit independently
  • Able to crawl (belly on the floor)
  • Creeps on hands and knees (belly off the floor)
  • Pulls to standing position at furniture
  • Cruises around furniture (side stepping ~ 4 steps)
  • Reaches actively for toy while in seated position
  • Walks with one handheld
  • Self Help:

  • Able to finger feed self
  • Holds a spoon (may treat it as a toy)

  • Cooperates with dressing by extending an arm/leg
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (12-15 months)

    Fine Motor:

  • Demonstrating ability to purposefully grasp and release items (i.e. throwing a ball)
  • Turns single thick pages of a book
  • Gross Motor:

  • Walks without support (across a room — can start, stop, and turn around)
  • Self Help:

  • Brings loaded spoon to mouth (may turn spoon over)
  • Holds and drinks from a cup with some spilling
  • Removes hat off head
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (15-18 months)

    Fine Motor:

  • Able to build a two-block tower
  • Scribbles spontaneously (without demonstration) when given crayon/paper
  • Gross Motor:

  • Walks up and down stairs (holding railing or with hand held)
  • Throws a ball forward (over or underhand)
  • Self Help:

  • Removes socks
  • May begin to start scooping food and feeding self with some spilling
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (18-24 Months)

    Fine Motor:

  • Able to build four- to sixblock tower
  • Gross Motor:

  • Able to move on “ride on” toys without pedals (propels forward without assistance)
  • Self Help:

  • Scoops food and feeds self with some spilling
  • Plays with food
  • Washes and dries hands partially (not a complete job)
  • Removes shoes when laces undone
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (24-30 Months)

    Fine Motor:

  • Imitates drawing a vertical line
  • Able to build an eight-block tower
  • Imitates horizontal strokes on paper
  • Can string 4 large beads
  • Gross Motor:

  • Walks and runs fairly well
  • Jumps off floor with both feet
  • Climbs stairs without support
  • Kicks a stationary ball
  • Catches a large ball
  • Self Help:

  • Able to unwrap food with ball loose wrappers
  • Holds spoon in fingertips (palm up while bringing to mouth)
  • Holds and drinks from cup with one hand
  • Pulls pants down and up with minimal assistance
  • Takes off shirts, pants, socks with minimal assistance
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (30-36 Months)

    Fine Motor:

  • Able to build a 10-block tower
  • Copy a circle on paper
  • Snips with child-safe scissors
  • Gross Motor:

  • Balances on one foot for a few seconds
  • Jumps 10-24 inches forward
  • Uses pedals on a tricycle alternately (may not steer appropriately)
  • Climbs jungle gyms/ladder with minimal support needed for safety
  • Self Help:

  • Able to button large buttons
  • Uses a fork to pierce foods and bring them to mouth
  • Washes and dries hands independently
  • Helps with bathing self
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (3-4 Years)

    Fine Motor:

  • Imitates drawing a cross
  • Uses non-dominant hand to stabilize paper and other objects
  • Makes snips on a line using scissors
  • Begins to write with 3 fingered grasp on pencil (may use wrist for movement instead of fingertips)
  • Gross Motor:

  • Balances on one leg with hands on hips
  • Kicks large ball when rolled into direct path
  • Walks downstairs using alternating feet not holding railing
  • Jumps up at least 12 inches off the ground with both feet
  • Walks forward between two parallel lines for 15 feet
  • Self Help:

  • Puts shoes on completely (being aware of right and left sides)
  • Puts on clothing in correct front/back position
  • Unzips and unsnaps clothing
  • Dries face after washing
  • Brushes teeth, spits out toothpaste and rinses toothbrush
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (4-5 Years)

    Fine Motor:

  • Able to copy picture of a square and cross
  • Cuts on a line continuously
  • Copies letters from picture
  • Writes numbers 1-5
  • Writes own name
  • Hand dominance is apparent
  • Gross Motor:

  • Gallops forward 10 feet
  • Throws a ball overhand 10 feet
  • Hangs from a bar using an overhand grip (at least 5 seconds)
  • Walks four feet on four-foot-wide balance beam without stepping off
  • Self Help:

  • Opens all clothing fasteners
  • Zips up open front clothing
  • Spreads with a dull knife
  • Washes face and ears in shower/bath
  • Uses towel to dry body after washing
  • Blows nose independently
  • Sucks liquid through a straw while holding container with one hand
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (5-6 Years)

    Fine Motor:

  • Cuts out simple shapes
  • Copies a picture of a triangle
  • Prints all letters of the alphabet and numbers 0-9 without models
  • Colors within the lines of a picture
  • Uses a 3 fingered grasp on a pencil consistently and uses fingertips to generate movement (not wrist)
  • Can draw basic pictures
  • Gross Motor:

  • Skips forward using alternating feet
  • Jumps rope
  • Lifts torso from the ground completing one sit-up
  • Able to complete one push up
  • Completes a somersault
  • Self Help:

  • Ties shoes after step-by-step demonstration
  • Cuts soft food objects with dull knife
  • Places clothing on hanger and hangs it up
  • Turns clothing right side out
  • Washes own hair using fingers to massage head
  • Occupational Therapy Developmental Milestones

    (6-7 Years)

    Fine Motor:

  • Forms most letters and numbers correctly without demonstration or assistance
  • Writes consistently on the lines
  • Demonstrates controlled pencil movements
  • Good endurance for writing
  • Hand dominance is established
  • Builds Legos and other blocks independently
  • Gross Motor:

  • Walks backwards heel-toe
  • Runs smoothly with arms opposing legs and feet not too far apart
  • Rides a bike without training wheels
  • Self Help:

  • Able to shower/bathe independently
  • Completes oral hygiene routine independently
  • Can prepare a simple meal (i.e. cereal)
  • Able to tell time
  • Selects appropriate clothing for weather/ time of day
  • New COVID-19 Guidelines

    Due to COVID-19, Fox Therapy Services is now offering  TeleHealth online.  As of June 15th, we will be back in our clinic but will continue to provide TeleHealth for those that wish to continue virtual therapy.