If you’re concerned about your child’s development, schedule a visit with their pediatrician. Based on their assessment, they can direct you to a specialist for further evaluation. They will likely suggest appropriate therapy. Children with poor fine motor skills will typically see a pediatric occupational or physiotherapist. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.
Some fine motor delays may resolve on their own. It is possible a child might simply do the activity later than their peers. If this is not the case, continual occupational therapy can help the child to hone these skills. Treatment plans will depend on the cause of the delay. With appropriate treatment, children will learn and practice skills that will help them thrive.
After being paired with a therapist, an initial assessment will take place. To ensure the evaluation is holistic, it will include a number of components. These include an interview with caregivers, a detailed history, developmental information, physical assessment and observations of the child, a comprehensive report of the information gathered, and goal-setting based on the report. The role of the therapist is to help the child reach developmental milestones that require fine motor skills. Most therapy for poor fine motor skills occurs from birth to age three but it may extend beyond that as needed.
After the initial evaluation, the occupational therapist will plan activities for sessions that help to improve fine motor skills. Activities might include: grasping and releasing toys, improving hand-eye coordination, handwriting skills, learning how to bathe, dress, and feed themselves, working on strengthening the hands, wrists, and fingers, developing appropriate pencil grapes, and improving body awareness and hand control through games. Therapists empower children to master poor fine motor skills through practice and confidence. If required, they may consider adaptive devices or modifications.