Fine motor skills in children occur when the hands use smaller muscles to perform simple tasks such as doing up buttons. They influence the general quality of one’s body outcome and the speed of the task performed. To call fine motor skills efficient it requires that a number of independent skills be performed together to manipulate an object and complete a task without any problems.
Check with your occupational therapist
In case your child suffers from abnormal fine motor skills you can take them to an occupational therapist for pediatric occupational therapy in CT. You can identify abnormal fine motor skills in your child through therapeutic diagnosis and the following will act as a guideline on what to be on the lookout for and treatment.
You can notice that a child has an awkward pencil grip for his age or labors to draw and when it’s done, it usually very messy. The child gets fatigued easily while performing simple tasks like clicking a mouse on a computer. A child may also be suffering from abnormal fine motor skills when you notice that he struggles with hand and eye coordination tasks and will usually withdraw from games that require motor skills.
Occupational therapy will help the child to adapt bilateral integration, whereby a child uses both his hands to perform a task by using one hand to stabilize it and the other to perform the task. An example would be to encourage a child to participate in games that need the use of his hand muscles such as building blocks and then asking him to put them back in a container that he needs to adjust the lid open. With time, he works these muscles and they get stronger each time.
A child with abnormal fine motor skills will tend to withdraw himself from activities that need motor skills. They can get frustrated since they feel they cannot perform these tasks as easily as others. You will notice that they will ask others to perform uncomfortable tasks for them while they give directions. If this is not addressed it can cause a child have low esteem issues which will affect their general performance in everything they do.
Occupational therapists encourage parents and guardians to be very patient and to encourage their children to participate more in the day to day activities. You can encourage a child to draw and color their pictures this will help with hand dominance and the use of their fingers more. However, parents need to be very encouraging and commend the child even when the drawing does not come out perfect. This will boost their confidence.
Declining academic performance
Just because a child is experiencing difficulty in fine motor skills does not mean that they are unable to perform academically. However, this condition can affect the general outcome of their performance. They tend to become withdrawn from school activities and avoid other children in school. When given a test they cannot finish on time due to the difficulty to work the hand muscles fast enough.
Occupational therapists will help them with finger isolation practice where they use just one finger or two at a time and practice the use of the thumb, index and middle finger only as they fold the rest to exercise the hand muscles. They do this by engaging them in poking games.