Occupational Therapy: Delayed Development

Occupational therapists work with children who are developmentally delayed and who do not demonstrate age appropriate behaviors and abilities in one or more of the following areas:

  • Cognition - Perceiving, storing and using information in order to solve problems; understanding relationships between people and objects, time and space, cause and effect.
  • Physical - Integrating reflexes to develop voluntary movement patterns; orienting to and processing sensation from the body and stimuli from the environment; developing fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, grasp-release and manipulation of objects.
  • Social/Emotional Development - Interacting with peers and adults; developing coping strategies and self-regulatory behaviors appropriate to the situation or activity.
  • Adaptive/Self Help Skills - Feeding, dressing, toileting and other hygiene skills; awareness of environmental dangers.

Standardized instruments commonly used by Occupational Therapists to assess these domains include:

  • Battelle Developmental Inventory
  • Birth to Three Assessment and Intervention System
  • Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory