What Are

Developmental Skills

1

What are Fine Motor Skills ? 

Fine Motor Development is essential for the child’s ability to interact with the environment with their hands which are the tools most often used to accomplish play, self-care skills and work.  Hand skills are divided into to one’s dominance, reach, grasp, release, in-hand manipulation, carry, bilateral hand and integration of the body’s midline which all require touch.  Touch Processing plays an important role in everyday life because it is a sensitivity to touch sensations that prevents a child from play and interactions critical to learning and social interactions.  Consequently, without touch sensations and motor skills, play becomes limited and some children may become fearful, avoid activities, withdraw, or act out as their body respond with a "fight-or-flight" response.  It is not uncommon for a child with tactile defensiveness to become aggressive towards other children if they are touched or bumped into at school, have extreme difficulty with grooming or transitions.  Be aware of these types of reactions which may be indicative of tactile defensiveness. 

What are Gross Motor Skills ?

Gross Motor/Sensorimotor Skills are the body’s ability to work towards an upright posture using the large muscles of the body to protect and stabilize us in space, referred to as protective, righting and equilibrium responses. 

 

Motor Planning is the ability to plan and execute different motor tasks relying on obtaining accurate information from the sensory systems and then organize and interpret this information efficiently and effectively.  Praxis is the ability to sequence plan and organize movements to perform novel or unfamiliar motor tasks in an efficient manner.  Our sense of body awareness is an important foundation to know how to move our body in space and provide us with necessary signals to allow us to manipulate objects, such as writing with a pencil, using a spoon, dressing, sit properly in a chair, stepping up & down stairs and maneuvering through all environments.  Vestibular Processing measures responses to balance and movement from structures within the vestibular system (inner ear semi-circular canals) that detect movement and changes in the position of the head.

2

3

What are Sensory Motor Skills ?

Sensory Integration is the neurological process of our body’s ability to process information (Input) from Vision (sight), Auditory (sound), Gustatory (smell), Tactile (touch), Proprioceptive (deep pressure) and Vestibular (inner ear) systems and then organizing (Throughput) them for use.  The brain organizes all the information and generates appropriate functional and behavioral capabilities (Output).  Our proprioceptive systems internal controls of muscles, joints, and tendons provide a subconscious awareness (kinesthetic sense) of body position.  Modulation is the regulation of neural messages through facilitation or inhibition of various types of responses. Sensory Processing Related to Endurance/Tone (measures a child's ability to sustain performance, i.e.: tires easily, poor endurance, breath control).  Modulation Related to Body Position and Movement (measures ability to move effectively, i.e.: takes movement or climbing risks in play that compromise personal safety, or refuses to climb due to fear of place in space).

4

What are Visual Motor Skills ?

Visual Motor Skills are our ability to coordinate eyes and hands together or otherwise referred to as our eye-hand coordination.  Play activities where these skills are seen would be cutting with scissors, writing, copying designs or letters, nuts & bolts, winding a spool, throwing a ball, etc. 

5

What are Visual Perceptual Skills ?

Visual Perception is obtaining, organizing and interpreting visual information from two dimensional pictures and three dimensions within our environments.  We then can recognize and identify shapes, objects, and colors; make accurate judgments about size, configuration and spatial relationships; and adjusts our eyes in reacting to light helping us adjust what we see when in and out of buildings or halls & classrooms.  Visual Processing disorder refers to a reduced ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision.  Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted or processed.  A person with visual processing problems may have 20/20 vision but may have difficulties discriminating foreground from background, forms, size, and position in space. The person may be unable to synthesize and analyze visually presented information accurately or fast enough. The eyes look and the brain sees

What are Ocular Motor Skills ?

Ocular Motor skills involve our eye's ability for Acuity (how clearly we see).  Ocular Motor (ability to isolate eye movement from head movement) is necessary for copying off the board/book, effectively scanning the environment, movement, etc.  All these skills are necessary for functional and school-related play such as copying off a blackboard or out of a book, reading, playing ball, seeing letters and numbers correctly.

6

What are ADL Skills ?

ADL’s are defined as Activities of daily living.  The things we normally do in our daily lives including activities we perform to care for ourselves such as dressing, feeding ourselves, bathing, grooming, work, play, and leisure.  The ability or inability to perform ADLs can be used as a very practical measure of ability/disability in many disorders.  These skills entail in several areas.  Dressing is the ability to don & doff shirts, pants, socks, shoes, jackets, pj’s, coats, etc.  Manipulatives involve one’s ability to utilize clothing attachments such as buttons, snaps, zippers, eye-hooks, lacing, Velcro, etc

 

Oral Sensory Processing measures the responses of stimuli to the mouth for touch and taste.  Children may limit food preferences based on texture or temperature, aversion to things in or around the mouth, or puts everything in their mouth, and difficulty with articulation. Oral motor development is crucial for learning how to eat and produce sounds.  Hand to Mouth is our ability to move a hand to the mouth for eating or signing.  Therapy in this area typically encompasses oral awareness, oral stretches, and oral exercises to improve the strength and speed of movements needed for speech.  Chewing is one’s ability to use the muscles of the mouth with teeth to prepare food for swallowing.  Swallowing is the ability to use muscles & reflexes of the mouth for safe swallowing.  Texture/Temp/Taste is the ability to tolerate muscles of the mouth for a variety of textures and/or temperatures.  When oral motor difficulties are seen, further evaluation may be required to establish specific areas of dysfunction.  Utensil Use is the ability to manipulate spoons, forks & knives for independent eating. 

 

Hygiene is a condition or practice conducive to the preservation of personal health, as in personal hygiene (cleanliness), which includes the daily activity of bathing and grooming.  These skills are learned through daily repetition, practice, and play. The ability or inability to perform ADLs is used as a practical measure of ability/disability in many disorders.

 

What are Social Communication Skills ?

Our primary way of communicating is first by hearing sounds and finding meaning in them. 

 

Receptive Language or Auditory Processing occurs when your brain recognizes and interprets all the sounds around you allowing one to comprehend which requires attention, listening, and processing the message to gain information. Areas of receptive language skills include attention, receptive vocabulary, following directions, and understanding questions.  Some children may not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words, even though the sounds themselves are loud and clear. For example, the request "Tell me how a chair and a couch are alike" may sound to the childlike "Tell me how a couch and a chair are alike."  Or "Tell me how a cow and a hair are alike." These kinds of problems are more likely to occur when the child is in a noisy environment or when listening to complex information. 

 

Expressive Language is a broad term describing how someone communicates their wants and needs.  It encompasses verbal and nonverbal communication skills, how an individual uses language and is a reflection of how efficient the brain processes sound and communicates it back.  These skills include facial expressions, gestures, intentionality, vocabulary, semantics (word/sentence meaning), morphology, and syntax (grammar rules).  Components for expression require skills such as Articulation or speech production shows how clearly a speech sound is produced along with one’s Oral motor skills which are needed to build oral motor strength for speech sound development and feeding skills.  Social skills are key to developing and maintaining friendships. Social skills involve facilitating awareness and change in interactions based on general social rules and norms.  Difficulties associated with expressive language are Apraxia of Speech (impacts speech clarity, difficulty planning and producing refined movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue, characterized by an inconsistent sound production and dys-coordination of movement); Dysarthria (results from neuro-motor impairment to the muscles of speech production, muscle weakness and fatigue, characterized by sound distortions, imprecise sound production, and other deficits in muscle tone, range, and speed of movement);

 

Voice Disorders (an abnormality of one or more of the three characteristics of voice: pitch (intonation), intensity (loudness), and quality (resonance). Voice disorders may be caused by vocal abuse (repeated yelling/whispering), vocal cord dysfunction, infection, inflammation, neuromuscular disorder, or psychological conditions); Disorders of fluency or Stuttering (impacts speech fluidity, characterized by sound or word repetitions, pauses, or drawn-out syllables, words, and phrases, groping or nonverbal symptoms (e.g. ticks, silent blocks) are also present); Augmentative and alternative communication (includes all forms of communication and expression such as AAC therapy or incorporate the use of pictures, gestures, voice-output devices, or computers to help individuals express their thoughts effectively) and Pragmatic Skills (the way a person uses language in social contexts, incorporating verbal and nonverbal communication, pragmatic skills are the essence of communication such as the pragmatic use of language including idioms, jokes, slang, affect, and tone of voice).

7

8

9

What are Emotional/Behavioral Skills ?

Multisensory Processing measures responses to activities that contain combined sensory experiences.  When a child is having difficulty with this area, their “fight or flight” system may trigger, they may be overwhelmed, have meltdowns, become hyperactive, or catatonic, or show transitional difficulties. 

 

Behavior is a reflection of sensory processing.  It is the ability to make sense from the environment, make decisions, take appropriate actions, and achieve academically. Processing problems are often associated with ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, perceptually impaired, speech and language delays, or difficulty learning.  How well we learn is a direct reflection of how well we receive process, store and utilize information.  Many children and adults are attempting to cope with unidentified processing inefficiencies.  If identified, these inefficiencies can be eliminated, in most cases, through the utilization of some very simple procedures which eliminate neurological disorganization. Behavior is a reflection of sensory processing.  It is the ability to make sense from the environment, make decisions, take appropriate actions, and achieve academically. Processing problems are often associated with ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, perceptually impaired, speech and language delays, or difficulty learning.  How well we learn is a direct reflection of how well we receive process, store and utilize information.  Many children and adults are attempting to cope with unidentified processing inefficiencies.  If identified, these inefficiencies can be eliminated, in most cases, through the utilization of some very simple procedures which eliminate neurological disorganization. 

Kids OT, Inc. Since 1991
  • w-facebook
  • w-youtube
  • LinkedIn Social Icon