The Child Who Might Need an Outpatient PT or OT Evaluation


Preterm Infants

Correlated with impaired postural control and less exploratory, midline, and visual-motor movements

Torticollis and Plagiocephaly

Delay in treatment start can drastically increase the time needed for intervention

Sensory Issues

Difficulty tolerating bright lights, loud noises, different textures, bath time, changes in positioning, feeding

Feeding Problems

Visual Issues

Gross and fine motor milestones

Movement quality is also important

Erb’s Palsy

Early treatment can improve hand and arm function



Toes turning inward is abnormal at all ages

Toe walking

  • For a short time after starting to walk, toe walking is normal
  • After early walking, toe walking can be a symptom of sensory problems, muscle tightness, balance problems, muscle weakness, or overactive reflexes
  • Prolonged toe walking may cause movement problems for other joints

Trouble Climbing or Running

Difficulty with hand-eye coordination, dressing skills, coloring, self-feeding

Preschool and School Aged

“Clumsy Child”

Bumps into objects or friends, trips often or falls out of chairs, movements are “off”

“Lazy Child”

Leans on surfaces, lays on belly, w-sit, low energy for movement activities

Trouble Focusing or Completing tasks Independently

Handwriting Delays and Immature Grasp Patterns

Poor Sitting Posture

Is It Sensory Or Is it Behavior?

If you’re seeing… It could be…
  • Fidgeting
  • Unable to sit for appropriate duration
  • Significantly more active than peers
  • Hyposensitivity (sensory seeking)
  • Poor postural control
  • Trouble tolerating clothing textures, tags, light touch
  • Aversion to messy hands
  • Avoids accidental touch or extra noises
  • Picky eater
  • Tactile Defensiveness
  • Touches peers frequently
  • Unintentionally aggressive
  • Bumps peers or walls/tables
  • Grips pencils too tightly or colors with high pressure
  • Hyposensitivity (sensory seeking)
  • Easily distracted
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Hyposensitivity
  • Poor postural control
  • Learning/cognitive delays
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

all have motor and sensory impairments