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Child Development

As an occupational therapist working with children, I have gotten to work with a wide variety of children from birth to young adults. Occupational therapists evaluate each child to find out where their strengths and weakness are. Assessments can consist of the following depending on their areas of concern: core strength, fine motor dexterity and strength, visual motor skills, visual perceptual skills, sensory processing skills, activities of daily living skills, reflex integration and prevocational skills.


It is important to note that there is a wide range of normal development. Children grow in the following areas: physical motor, cognition or intelligence, social, speech and language and emotionally. One baby may be excelling at gross motor skills like crawling or walking, another baby is the same age and is great at fine motor skills. They can pick up

tiny objects off of the floor. Each child is normal but working in different areas.




Babies gain control of their bodies beginning with their head, then their body and then their legs. This is one of the reasons why tummy time is so important for babies. Laying on their belly helps them to develop head extension and head control. Infants heads are big and it takes muscles strength to hold it up.

We also know that children need strength/stability of their large muscle groups before they can develop the small muscles of their hands and mouth for mobility/fine motor skills. This is why OT's work so much on core strengthening. Having strong core muscles in the abdomen enables a child to develop fine motor skills.



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