View Full Version : ARe there some OT's out there who only focus on fine motor issues?

05-17-2011, 10:43 AM
The reason I'm asking is b/c DN is now seeing an OT for fine motor/handwriting issues. She is 5 and will start K in the fall. She cannot write (nothing. No letters, no basic scribbles, nothing). My sister and BIL know DS's issues and have been holding back/lying to us about DN (another issue entirely). Anyway, via my mom DN was diagnosed as low tone and receiving OT help for fine motor issues. However, I know that DN cannot jump, hop, skip etc... I've seen her try to and she simply cannot motor plan (much like DS was prior to OT 2 years ago). I asked my mom if DN was getting gross motor and motor planning help as well. Her response was no. I know she asked my sister (she knows enough from what we are doing with DS to ask). Are there OT's who really only focus on fine motor? Wouldn't an eval show obvious gross motor things also? And, wouldn't DN be getting help for both. I feel for DN. She is in need of help that my sister and BIL are in denial about (and have been for a long time).

05-17-2011, 11:33 AM
Yes, there are OTs who focus specifically on handwriting and fine motor. Or you can ask them to focus only on that.

FWIW, my older DD was much like you describe at age 5. She had low tone and motor planning issues. She struggled to do the simple things like hop, skip (could not until age 7), jump, etc. She got OT every week, and was in gymnastics, ballet and swimming to help with these things.

But all the OT and activities did not help. What has helped is time. At almost 10 she still struggles with motor planning and coordination but is much improved.

Also, many kids and many parents cannot really deal with more than one challenge/issue at a time. This is not to say that they could not have been doing more, but there can be a lot of reasons for that. While my DD has a whole host of issues, we can only do one thing at a time and be effective at it. It takes a LOT of mental energy (for her and us) to work on these things and doing too many things at once is just too hard for her.

When she was in K and 1 we did OT and gross motor.
In second grade we focused on stress reduction (which meant dropping a lot of activities and therapies) and getting evaluations.
In third grade we worked on anxiety reducing skills and individual therapy.
This year we have concentrated on social skills.
Next year I think we are going to start working on the gross motor and physical skills again.

So all that is to say that right now they are working on fine motor and handwriting with DN. That is a start. And is an important skill and a big thing to get in place with K.

05-17-2011, 11:59 AM
I agree that it is a start. and I'm glad to see DN getting some help. What I don't get is how they go about it. They have done the following in the past--switched pediatricians when told by their ped things that they did not want to hear or deal with. They have switched 2x already. DN was kicked out of preschool for continually hitting other children (sis and BIL did nothing about it), and b/c DN did not talk until last year--just screamed and threw tantrums and the teachers could not control her. When picking a therapist for DN to see about her fear of public toilets they are seeing someone 2 hours away--why???? b/c they could not find ONE therapist they liked in the entire DC metro area (NOT ONE).

I know my sister cannot function unless it's one thing at a time (she has been that way her entire life). So, I get why in that sense. What I don't get is how they cannot see that there are other issues here (motor planning etc....) Even if they wait to do something about it, they honestly do not see it. I don't know how red flags were not raised within them when DN didn't talk except scream at the top of her lungs until age 4 (NO SENTENSES, NOTHING except a few single words). I wonder if the ped said something to them and they ignored it? I know the previous preschool had MANY talks with them that they chose to ignore. I wonder if they will actually get DN any other help she needs? The one thing DN has going for her is that her soon to be public school happens to have a center for special ed inside of it. So there are speech and OT etc... onsite (unlike my neighborhood school where it's not onsite, but a child has to be taken elsewhere). Sorry, DN is not my child, and maybe I should not care so much, but I am so so very frustrated that they are not more proactive.

05-17-2011, 01:41 PM
Heather, it's wonderful that you care so much! But the truth is her parents are the ones who will need to get her the help she needs. Even if it just starts with OT for handwriting, that's a start.

Did they actually see the therapist 2 hours away? If they did, well at least that's progress.

It sounds like there is a lot of anxiety and/or depression going on in the family. So they may know about the issues, but not have the coping ability to actually deal with things. Having all of that going on means that DN may not get help as quickly as she might otherwise. But at least they have started. :hug:

05-17-2011, 01:52 PM
You are right. At least they have started. I have to stop thinking about this. It frustrates me. I have attempted talking calmly with my sister but it doesn't do anything (not telling her what to do, but suggesting some books to read etc...) BIL poopoo's it. That is a big part of the problem. My sister is scared of BIL. He is controlling and she can do nothing without his knowledge/approval. That in itself is a bad situation. Which is why the rest is also so bad (you see where I am going with this).

I have to stop. I cannot worry about DN. I have my own stuff to worry about.