The Early Learning Institute (TELI) | June 5th, 2018 |

Feel at Home with Early Intervention

At Home with Early InterventionChild Development Questions? teli helps you “Feel at Home with Early Intervention!”

Are you wondering if your child’s development is where it needs to be?  teli knows that is a question that many parents often have. To address those questions, we are beginning a series of blogs providing you with valuable information so that you can “Feel at Home with Early Intervention”. Our staff of Pediatric Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Pathologists and Developmental Specialists will share their knowledge to provide you with strategies to incorporate into your family’s routine and help your child reach their full potential.

Developmental Milestone: Fine Motor Skills – What should I be looking for?

teli’s Occupational Therapist, Nathan Sharbaugh often hears concerns from parents in his Early Intervention work. “We start by assessing a child’s behavior and skills versus what is expected according to age based developmental milestones,” notes Nathan.  “This helps us to reinforce with parents what they should look for and ways in which they can help their child strengthen a certain skill at home.”

What fine motor skills should my child demonstrate and when?

Fine motor skills are small movements that use the small muscles of the hands, typically emerging between the ages of 9-12 months.   Some examples to look for in your child include:

  • use their thumb and pointer finger to pick up small objects
  • wave bye bye
  • bang small objects like blocks together
  • hold their own bottle
  • grasp and release toys

Why are fine motor skills so important?

Fine motor skills are foundational to other skills that your child will learn such as holding a fork to feed themselves or holding a pencil to write. “Fine motor skills provide the basis for a child learning to become independent, which will also allow them to socialize with others,” explains Nathan.  “A child that is comfortable using their fine motor skills (coloring, pinching, grasping and releasing toys) is better able to play with others and develop important social skills. This enables the child to learn how to share and engage with others, a very important part of their social-emotional growth and development.”

How can I play with my child to develop fine motor skills?

“As an Occupational Therapist, our work is a child’s play! We identify what toys and activities help to build strength and capability,” explains Nathan.  Nathan recommends getting down on the floor with your child and get busy playing!   Here are some great ways to help develop your child’s fine motor skills.

  • Introduce new toys allowing them to explore, push and pull them.
  • Play with blocks, stacking them and yes- enjoying knocking them down!
  • Play with Play Dough by squeezing it between their fingers and forming shapes and feeling the texture.
  • Put together large wooden puzzles, picking up pieces and placing them in position.
  • CLEAN UP. A big parent favorite!!- picking up toys and placing them in a toy box
  • Create masterpieces painting with their fingers
  • Feed themselves, no matter how messy!

Early Intervention Services can help your child achieve the developmental milestones to enable them to reach their full potential. If you have questions, call teli at 412-922-8322.

Look for more help from on teli therapists on Developmental Milestones to help you and your child “Feel at Home with Early Intervention” in the coming months. Topics will include:

  • Feeding challenges and transitions
  • Gross Motor Skills -Crawling and transitioning to walking
  • Speech and Language formation
  • Behavioral progress

 

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