Fine Motor / Upper Body Coordination
The abilities that involve the use of our hands and upper extremities, develop over time, starting with primitive gestures such as grabbing at objects to more intricate activities that involve precise hand-eye coordination. Fine motor skills are skills that involve the refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers, and thumb. The development of these skills allows the child to be able to complete tasks such as writing, drawing, and buttoning.
During the infant and toddler years, children develop basic grasping and manipulation skills, which are refined during the preschool years. The preschooler becomes quite adept in self-help, construction, grasp patterns, and bimanual control tasks requiring the use of both hands. Variations in development do occur and do not necessarily indicate a problem. (Refer to our Guidelines for Child Development) However, if your child seems to be behind in terms of their ability to perform tasks that are age appropriate; or if they have had a specific accident or illness that results in impairments in these areas, see your pediatrician for an evaluation. It would be appropriate for your doctor to refer the child for an Occupational Therapy evaluation. During the OT evaluation, the therapist will assess the child's strength, grasp patterns, and coordination skills