Have you been told that your toddler has low muscle tone? When a young child has low muscle tone, he or she typically needs to work a bit harder to perform different types of tasks with the hands because the hands are not as strong due to the lack of flexibility. Even tasks that are simple to you could be quite difficult for your toddler, such as cutting with scissors or holding a pencil the correct way while drawing. If your toddler has low muscle tone, occupational therapy is a great way for your child to build strength in his or her hands.
How Does Occupational Therapy Help?
Young children with low muscle tone often prefer activities that do not require too much use of the hands, such as reading books and watching television. However, the goal is to get the child with low muscle tone to use the hands more often to become much stronger than before. Although it takes time, a child who receives occupational therapy can eventually strengthen his or her muscle tone and gain the skills that are needed to complete regular tasks at home or even in a school environment.
What Will the Therapist Do to Make a Difference?
An occupational therapist will come up with creative ways to get your child to use his or her hands, which may include cutting out pieces of construction paper to create a robot, stringing beads onto a piece of thread, using plastic toy tweezers to pick up beads from a bowl, and even playing a game where your child is instructed to move around like different animals, such as a cat, elephant, and lion. Different gross motor activities are offered to your child to encourage him or her to use the hands while having a good time.
Aside from offering different activities to your child, the occupational therapist may come prepared with treats, such as stickers and bubble wands that your child can play with if he or she sits through a therapy session and puts in as much effort as possible when it comes to completing the different activities. You should gradually start to notice an improvement in your child's hand strength as the occupational therapist continues to work with him or her.
Some young children are diagnosed with low muscle tone in the hands because they lack the strength that many children their age tend to have, which makes it difficult to complete various tasks, such as writing and cutting paper with scissors. It does not mean your child will never be able to complete those types of tasks – it simply means your little one may need occupational therapy to gradually become stronger. Contact a clinic, like Levi Hospital, for more help.