Fine motor skills are required to control smaller muscles of the body during activities such as, picking up small objects and holding silverware. The skills utilize small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, etc. With the development of these skills, a child is able to complete necessary tasks at home and school, including writing, feeding oneself, and dressing (including buttoning and zippering). Fine motor skills are an important part of early childhood development, as they are an essential component of everyday functions.
There are distinct stages of development that children will reach as they mature, but not every child reaches these milestones at the same rate. For children who experience delays in their fine motor skills, daily activities such as grasping a crayon can be extremely tricky. Holding a crayon might not appear to be a critical skill in early childhood development, but delayed fine motor skills that are left untreated will result in further complications and can affect a child’s life negatively down the road (in other areas of development). If a child requires additional support in reaching these pivotal milestones in development, their parents may determine that a therapeutic preschool program is a great fit to address these needs. In a therapeutic preschool program, there are often occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and other professionals who are directly involved in the classroom.
Some early signs that can show up as early as 18 months include, not being able to use a pincer grasp to pick up small objects, not being able to put things into containers, not being able to point at things using their pointer finger, not able to use both hands during play, or making movements that seem shaky or stiff. Evaluations by occupational therapists in a therapeutic preschool teachers can determine how to proceed with any concerns a parent or primary caregiver may have.
A therapeutic preschool program can help children improve their fine motor skills, as well as other developmental delays they experience. During the child’s time in a therapeutic preschool program, they can participate in fine motor activities, such as coloring, finger painting, or more. Depending on the unique needs and ability level of each child, teachers can develop specialized activities for their kiddos with fine motor delays. As the child moves through early childhood development, fine motor skills are increased and enhanced. In order to encourage proper development, engaging in activities that challenge your child appropriately with result in new attained knowledge and skills.
Do you think your child could benefit from a therapeutic preschool program? Contact CST Academy at 773-620-7800 to learn more about our services. Our team of top-notch, effective therapists work to help children increase their confidence with fine motor activities, enhance their independence, and help develop the strength and accuracy needed to accomplish tasks.