Monday, February 15, 2016

Fine Motor Finesse

Teddy attends occupational therapy most weeks and has since he was roughly a year old. When he first began OT, we were perplexed as to what it would entail for a child who was barely a year old. The running joke in my family was that he was too young to pick an occupation for his future career. We quickly discovered that OT essentially focused on the fine motor skills, which Teddy greatly lacked.

Since that first OT appointment, we've discussed the pincher grasp at just about every appointment. (That's how babies learn to pick up small objects with their thumb and pointer finger.) Teddy's preferred method is to shovel entire handfuls of food into his mouth, and he's mighty efficient that way. So efficient, in fact, that I doubt he sees any reason to learn how to use a pincher grasp for food.

He has made progress with his OT, learning to isolate and use his thumb and become more deliberate using fingers instead of his entire hand. But progress with his fine motor skills always felt so slow. Even the skills he gained, such as clapping, which has been an OT goal for quite a while, he refuses to show his occupational therapist. He first started clapping just before he turned two, and we were lucky enough to capture one of his pictures with him clapping. I'm glad I had that to give his therapist to prove he could do it since he still hasn't done it for her 7 months later.

I adore those blurry clapping hands! (And that smile and those dimples!)

I rarely felt I had anything new to tell his therapist each week in terms of progress. Maybe it's because large motor skills are more obvious because it's kind of hard to miss your child climbing on your kitchen table.

That's all changed in the last month. I feel like he's made such huge bounds in his fine motor skills. From holding onto the sled to holding onto the swing, his ability to maintain a grasp on objects for balance and steadying himself has greatly improved.

He has a stacking toy that all of the sudden, he loves and can stack rings with relative ease. He's taken an interest in coloring, knows the purpose of writing utensils and loves to make marks. He handed objects to me and to his big brother AJ at his last OT appointment. He also figured out how to pull push beads apart and pull apart the tubes that scrunch together and pull apart. This past weekend, he played with mega blocks for 30 minutes straight and was actually stacking blocks together.

I realize to most people, these things sound ordinary. I understand that most children can do all these things before they are a year old. But Teddy's never done any of these things until the past month. I could put an exclamation point after each description because that's how excited I am to see all these new skills he's developed. He's worked hard for these skills, and it's so neat to recognize so many of them clustered together.

(And I'm excited for his next OT appointment because I get to report his ability to A) pay attention to a single task for 30 minutes and B) tell his therapist he can stack mega blocks together.)

P.S. I realize finesse is an exaggeration. I like alliteration. And for Teddy, it is finesse.


  1. Those are great strides!!! Keep it up Teddy :)

  2. It's been very obvious to me as to the gains he's made and it's amazing!!! You definitely should be excited and proud!

  3. It's been very obvious to me as to the gains he's made and it's amazing!!! You definitely should be excited and proud!

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