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Fine motor skills refer to the precise coordination and control of small muscles, primarily those in the hands and fingers. These skills involve the ability to manipulate and control objects, perform precise movements, and engage in activities that require dexterity and hand-eye coordination.


Fine motor skills are important for children's development and have a significant impact on their daily activities, academic performance, and overall independence. Here are some key aspects of fine motor skills and their importance for children:

  • Manipulation and Grasping

  • Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Writing and Drawing

  • Self-Care Skills

  • Cognitive and Academic Skills

  • Tool and Instrument Use

Developing and refining fine motor skills in children is crucial for their overall development and independence. Occupational Therapists, along with parents and educators, often provide activities and interventions to enhance fine motor skills. These may include activities such as finger exercises, cutting with scissors, manipulating small objects, and engaging in crafts or sensory play.

By promoting fine motor skills, children gain the necessary abilities to participate actively in daily activities, excel in academic pursuits, and develop the coordination and control needed for future tasks and challenges.


Occupational Therapy (OT) plays a vital role in supporting handwriting skills in children. Here's how OT helps:

1.  Assessment:

Occupational Therapists assess a child's handwriting skills to identify specific areas of difficulty. They evaluate factors such as pencil grip, letter formation, posture, and overall writing mechanics.

2.  Intervention:

Based on the assessment, Occupational Therapists provide targeted interventions to address handwriting challenges. These interventions may include activities and exercises to improve hand strength, pencil grasp, letter formation, and overall writing fluency.

3.  Motor Coordination:

Occupational Therapists work on improving fine motor coordination and control to enhance handwriting skills. They may use activities that involve finger strengthening exercises, manipulation of small objects, and coordination tasks to improve hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

4.  Adaptations and Strategies:

Occupational Therapists teach children adaptive techniques and strategies to overcome handwriting difficulties. These may include modifying writing tools, using visual cues or guides, implementing sensory-based interventions, or employing technology to support handwriting skills.

5.  Individualized Approach:

Occupational Therapists tailor interventions to meet the unique needs of each child. They consider factors such as the child's age, developmental level, specific challenges, and personal goals, ensuring a personalized and effective approach to handwriting intervention.

Occupational Therapy helps children develop and refine their handwriting skills, promoting legibility, speed, and overall proficiency. By addressing underlying fine motor difficulties, sensory issues, or cognitive factors that impact handwriting, Occupational Therapists empower children to achieve success in written communication, academic pursuits, and overall self-expression


Gross motor skills involve the coordination and control of the large muscles in the body, particularly those used for activities like walking, running, jumping, and balancing. These skills are important for overall physical development and the ability to engage in various daily activities. Gross motor skills are essential for: 

  • Physical Development

  •  Mobility and Independence

  • Balance and Coordination

  • Spatial Awareness

  • Social Interaction and Play

  • Health and Well-being​

Occupational Therapists play a role in supporting the development of gross motor skills in children. We provide interventions, activities, and exercises to enhance balance, coordination, strength, and overall motor proficiency. By focusing on these areas, Beyond OT helps children develop the necessary gross motor skills for physical independence, participation in various activities, and overall healthy development.


Cognitive skills, also referred to as cognitive abilities or thinking skills, encompass a wide range of mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge, processing information, problem-solving, decision-making, and overall intellectual functioning. These skills are essential for children's development and have a significant impact on their learning, academic performance, and overall success in various areas of life.


Here are some key cognitive skills for children:


  1. Attention and Focus

  1. Memory

  2. Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

  3. Language and Communication

  4. Executive Functioning

  5. Spatial Awareness and Reasoning


Cognitive skills are foundational for academic achievement, social interactions, and overall cognitive development. They facilitate learning in various subjects, including reading, mathematics, and science. 

Through practice, exposure to stimulating environments, and engaging in activities that promote cognitive development, children can enhance their cognitive skills, providing them with a solid foundation for future learning, independence, and success.


Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives, interprets, and responds to sensory information from the environment. It involves the integration of sensory input from various senses, such as touch, sight, sound, taste, and movement. Occupational Therapists conduct comprehensive sensory assessments to evaluate an individual's sensory processing patterns and identify specific areas of difficulty. They consider factors such as sensory seeking or avoiding behaviors, sensory modulation, sensory discrimination, and sensory-based motor skills.


Occupational Therapists play a crucial role in addressing sensory processing challenges and helping individuals effectively process and respond to sensory stimuli.


Here's how occupational therapy can support individuals with sensory processing difficulties:

  •  Sensory Integration Therapy

  •  Environmental Modifications

  •   Sensory Diet

  •   Adaptive Strategies 

  •   Collaboration and Education


School readiness refers to a child's preparedness to transition from a home or early childhood setting to a formal school environment. It encompasses a range of skills, abilities, and behaviors that enable a child to succeed and thrive in the school setting and can be an anxious time for both parents and the child. Occupational Therapists play a significant role in supporting school readiness through various interventions and strategies. 

Here are some of the skills your child will need before starting school:


Self Care and Independence skills:

Children should be able to:

  • Put on and remove shoes, socks, jumper, jacket and hat

  • Go to the toilet independently

  • Open containers and packets/wrappers

  • Understand a daily routine

  • Say their full name and address

Pre-Writing skills:

Children should be able to:

  • Identify/recognise their name

  • Recognise basic shapes

  • Use both hands in cooperation

  • Isolate individual fingers

  • Trace their name / copy their name recognisably

  • Colour in with reasonable accuracy

  • Manipulate objects in their hands

Pre-Scissor skills:

The skills needed to begin using scissors are:

  • Orient and grasp the scissors correctly

  • Ability to manipulate the item being cut

  • Reasonable accuracy cutting along a bold line

  • Awareness of Scissor Safety

  • Ability to snip

Visual Perception:

Children need to be able to make sense of what they see to help them with reading and writing. They should be able to:

  • Recognise and match objects that are the same colour, shape or size

  • Complete simple jigsaw puzzles

  • Recognise things that ‘go together’ (e.g. hat and head, shoes and socks)

Gross Motor Skills:

Children should be able to:

  • Catch and throw objects (e.g. large balls)

  • Walk up and down stairs

  • Hop, jump, run

  • Complete activities requiring balance and coordination

Behavioural (Social) Skills

The skills expected at school are:

  • Waiting/taking turns

  • Sharing

  • Ability to follow instructions

  • Ability to introduce self and verbally interact with peers

  • Understanding of rules and expectations in order to learn how to behave properly

  • Ability to attend to, and concentrate on, the task at hand


Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with others. They include both verbal communication with words and greetings, and non-verbal communication such as gestures, body language and eye gaze.

Social skills help us connect with others and build meaningful relationships. Many children may master the language basics of greetings, taking turns in conversations and responding appropriately, however they may still have difficulty making friends.


At Beyond OT we believe it is the understanding of how our behaviour makes others feel that drives us to behave as expected in social situations. At Beyond OT rather than label it as social skills we use the term 'Social Thinking' and follow the principles taught in the Social Thinking Curriculum.


For more information on the Social Thinking Curriculum, you can have a look here:


There is a lot that can be done to improve your child’s social skills. Through overt teaching, and a coaching model of practice in real life social groups with age-matched peers, we achieve great results. Many children make real connections with peers for the first time, and successfully generalize these skills to the playground.



  • Can your child share without prompting, take turns peacefully, and make requests rather than demands during play?

  • Do they always act bossy, have trouble really listening to others ideas in play or need to be in control of the play?

  • Does your child seem to have difficulty knowing what’s expected, keeping their brain and body connected to the play, or following the rules of the game?

  • Does your child withdraw from group play, preferring to play on their own?

  • Does your child make common errors such as ‘blurting’, changing the topic, or have challenges problem solving conflicts appropriately?


These are common difficulties we see and through task analysis and the medium of play we can help children identify and improve these skills.



We also see children with a wide range of other syndromes and conditions that pose unique challenges and difficulties. This can include developmental delay and difficulties with attention, behaviour, emotional regulation, self care difficulties, feeding problems that are sensory based. we have experience treating children with a wide rnage of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, including but not limited to:

  • Kabuki Syndrome

  • Retts Syndrome

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Down Syndrome

  • Upper Limb Deficiencies/syndactyly/anomaly

  • Learning Difficulties

  • Chromosomal abnormalities including microdeletion

  • Hypermobility

We work closely with other allied health professionals including Speech Therapist, Physiotherapists, Psychologists as well as your GP or Pediatrician.



Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent challenges in social interaction, communication difficulties, and restrictive and repetitive patterns of behavior. It is considered a spectrum disorder because it manifests differently in each individual, ranging from mild to severe symptoms.


People with autism often have difficulties in understanding and expressing emotions, engaging in reciprocal social interactions, maintaining eye contact, and interpreting nonverbal cues. They may also exhibit repetitive behaviors, restricted interests, sensory sensitivities, and difficulties with transitions or changes in routines. Autism affects individuals across their lifespan and can have a significant impact on their daily functioning and quality of life.


Occupational therapy (OT) is a specialized form of therapy that focuses on helping individuals develop and maintain the skills needed for daily activities and tasks. For individuals with autism, occupational therapy aims to enhance their functional abilities, independence, and overall quality of life. Here are some ways in which occupational therapy can help individuals with autism:


Sensory integration: Occupational therapists work on sensory integration to help individuals with autism process sensory information more effectively. They use various techniques to help manage sensory sensitivities and improve sensory regulation, which can enhance attention, self-regulation, and overall engagement in activities.


Motor skills development: OT addresses fine motor and gross motor skills deficits commonly seen in individuals with autism. These skills include handwriting, self-care activities (such as dressing and feeding), coordination, balance, and body awareness. Occupational therapists use specific interventions and activities to improve motor skills and promote independence.


Social skills training: Occupational therapy can assist individuals with autism in developing and improving social skills. Therapists employ various strategies such as role-playing, modeling appropriate behaviors, and providing structured social interactions to help individuals understand social cues, develop conversational skills, and enhance their ability to initiate and maintain relationships.


Adaptive strategies: Occupational therapists help individuals with autism develop adaptive strategies and techniques to navigate daily life challenges. This may include developing visual supports, schedules, and routines that provide structure and predictability, which can help reduce anxiety and improve functional independence.


Self-regulation and emotional regulation: Occupational therapy assists individuals in developing strategies for self-regulation and emotional regulation. This may involve teaching techniques such as deep breathing exercises, sensory calming techniques, and using visual supports to identify and express emotions appropriately.


Transition support: Occupational therapists can provide support during transitions, which can be challenging for individuals with autism. They help develop strategies to ease transitions between activities, settings, or life stages, enabling individuals to adapt more smoothly to changes.


It's important to note that occupational therapy interventions are individualized to meet the unique needs of each person with autism. OT focuses on promoting functional skills, fostering independence, and maximizing participation in meaningful activities to enhance overall well-being and quality of life for individuals on the autism spectrum.

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