The tot OT

In-home Pediatric Occupational therapy, Feeding therapy & Developmental Consults 

Fort Lauderdale • Broward County • Miami • Palm Beach




Red flags 

It is understandably difficult to know whether you are being overly or rightfully concerned about your child's development. Children all develop at different rates. and your child is constantly changing in front of your eyes. There is a WIDE range of normal, which is why developmental checklists and milestones often span several months. Your friend's baby will do something before yours... GUARANTEED! However, in this fast-paced, information-saturated world of ours, it can be difficult to parse out the salient information from the background noise. 


Here is a link to a sensory-motor checklist that I really like: PATHWAYS 


The above checklist is very user friendly and relatively comprehensive. It spans ages 0- 6+years in developmentally appropriate groupings. If your child was born premature and is under age 2, make sure to adjust age by subtracting weeks premature before filling it out.  If you find yourself answering "no", to many of the skills in your child's age range, I would suggest contacting me or another clinician soon to discuss further. 


While providing a nice, general glance at development, the above checklist does not highlight some specific visual and fine motor "red flags" to which I, as an occupational therapist, would like to draw further attention. These are common issues I witnessed as a practitioner in the Early Intervention field and in the clinic. If you are seeing these "red flags", again please get in contact, as there are many strategies that can help correct them before issues compound.


Your infant:

- prefers looking or gazing to one side substantially more than the other

- appears to have a hand preference (i.e. mostly grabs toys or tools with one hand, mouths one hand, etc.) 

-appears to have difficulty turning head toward one side

-has a large flat spot on the back of the head

- does not bring hands together at midline (by 4 months)

- does not transfer objects between hands (by 6 months)


YOUR 12-18 month old

- doesn't point using index finger (by 15 months)

- has a hand preference (grabs toys, food and utensils primarily with one hand)

- does not hold his own cup

- does not use fingers to feed himself 

- does not pick up items between index and thumb



Your 1.5- 2 yr old

- does not use a spoon or can't feed herself a portion of a snack or meal using utensil

-does not scribble 

-cannot take off shoes

-cannot turn page of a book

-has difficulty picking up small objects (like cheerios)

Pediatric Occupational Therapy • Feeding Therapy • Child Development

Fort Lauderdale • Davie • Weston • Aventura • Miami

Cynthia Pepper, MS OTR/L • (754) 300-8687

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