Developmental Milestones

Download: Age 0-3 developmental Milestone Flyer

Occupational Therapists evaluate the following skills to determine the child’s development progress:

1. Sensory Processing

Sensory Processing refers to the way a person’s nervous system receives sensory messages and turns them into adaptive or functional responses.

  • Express emotions
  • Take turns with others
  • Engage or tolerate messy play
  • Pay attention for periods of time
  • Cope in busy or noisy environments
  • Enjoy or tolerate a range of different textured foods
  • Following verbal instructions (e.g. Go to your room and get your toy)
  • Tolerate different clothing textures, seams, and tags

2. Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills are the use of precise and coordinated movements of hands and fingers to preform a meaningful activity.


  • Use spoon and fork
  • Build towers with blocks
  • Cut across a piece of paper
  • Grasping Pencils and Crayons
  • Manage buttons; dress and undress
  • Cut along straight and curved lines with scissors
  • Draw and copy different lines and shapes (e.g. circle, square, and triangle)

3. Gross Motor Skills

Gross Motor Skills involve the use of large muscle groups for the performance of functions such as walking, running, jumping, riding a bike and playing sports.

  • Pedal on Tricycle
  • Kick, throw and catch a ball
  • Walk up and down stairs
  • Climb onto/down from furniture
  • Pick up toys and block from the floor

4. Visual Perception

Visual Perception skills are needed to understand, evaluate, and interpret what is seen.

  • Puzzles
  • Build with blocks from a model or a picture
  • “What’s missing” exercise worksheets
  • Find objects in a busy background e.g. Where’s Waldo books
  • Understand spatial concepts such as “in, out, on, under, next to, up, down, in front of…”
  • Differentiate between “b, d, p, q; f, t; h, n”

5. Self-Care Skills

Self-Care Skills refers to activities of daily living in a child’s life

  • Grooming (e.g. brush teeth)
  • Eating (e.g. use utensils)
  • Dressing (e.g. use buttons and zippers and tying shoe laces)
  • Making the bed
  • Toileting

If your child is experiencing the following issues, occupational therapist can help:

  • Refuses to eat food with different textures
  • Has difficulty with feeding
  • Overly sensitive or unresponsive to stimulation
  • Is over reacts to unfamiliar touch, noise, or smells
  • Unsure how to move his/her body in space