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FAQ’s & Developmental Milestones


Why would my child need therapy?

Therapy is indicated when developmental milestones are not met within an appropriate time frame and/or based on medical conditions. The Pediatric Therapists consider the review of various developmental domains that influence a child’s function. These may include:

  • Cognition
  • Language and communication
  • Social/emotional development
  • Fine and gross motor and adaptive function
  • Physical development, including vision and hearing
  • The child’s learning style and participation in the home and play

(Reference: APTA Section on Pediatrics)

How long will I (my child) need therapy?

Every person (child) is an unique; therefore, it is not possible to predict the length of time a person (child) will need to come to therapy. However, a plan of therapy and goals will be set based on specific needs of the client to make a determination.

What can I (my child) do at home to help?

Your therapist will demonstrate and explain activities for you (your child) to do at home to reinforce activities worked on in therapy. Working together as parent, child and therapist, goals set forth can be met.

How often will I (my child) need to come for therapy?

Again, every person (child) is different; therefore, all family needs should be taken into account. Therapy regimens vary from client to client and will be specific to your (your child’s) needs.

Does therapy hurt?

Therapy should not be painful, however, some stretches may feel uncomfortable or strange. The new activities and various positions may be challenging and cause some crying. However, every effort is made to make therapy fun and exciting, after all active participation from the child is extremely important.

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills are skills that involve a refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers, and thumb. The development of these skills allows one to be able to complete tasks such as writing, drawing, and buttoning.

What are gross motor skills?

Abilities usually acquired during infancy and early childhood as part of a child's motor development. By the time they reach two years of age, almost all children are able to stand up, walk and run, walk up stairs, etc. These skills are built upon, improved and better controlled throughout early childhood, and continue in refinement throughout most of the individuals years of development into adulthood. These gross movements come from large muscle groups and whole body movement.

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Sensory processing disorder or SPD is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within the own body (visual, auditory, tactile, oliaction, gustatory, vestibular and proprioception).

For those with SPD, sensory information may be sensed and perceived in a way that is different from most other people. Unlike blindness or deafness sensory information can be received by people with SPD, the difference is that information is often registered, interpreted and processed differently by the brain. The result can be unusual ways of responding or behaving, finding things harder to do.

Difficulties may typically present as difficulties planning and organizing, problems with doing the activities of everyday life (self care, work and leisure activities including work and play), and for some with extreme sensitivity to sensory input, sensory input may result in extreme avoidance of activities, agitation, distress, fear or confusion.

What are some characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder that first appears during infancy or childhood, and generally follows a steady course without remission.

Overt symptoms gradually begin after the age of six months, become established by age two or three years, and tend to continue through adulthood, although often in more muted form. It is distinguished not by a single symptom, but by a characteristic triad of symptoms: impairments in social interaction; impairments in communication; and restricted interests and repetitive behavior. Other aspects, such as atypical eating, are also common but are not essential for diagnosis.

Please see your physician for specific concerns, as the statements above are general in nature and the best answers to your questions can be found at your local doctor’s office.

General Developmental Milestones


  • Crawls & pulls self up by 12 months
  • Walks by self & also runs at 18 months
  • Walks up steps by 24 months


  • Coos, chuckles, etc. by 3 months
  • Imitates speech sounds (coughing & kissing sounds) at 6 months
  • Says “mama” & “dada” by 9 months
  • Asks for simple things like & drinks by 12 months
  • Uses 2 or 3 words together by 24 months
  • Speech understandable half of the time by 36 months


  • Smiles at familiar faces by 3 months
  • Waves bye-bye by 9 months
  • Helps in house at 18 months (picking up toys, etc.)
  • Enjoys playing with other children at 24 months
  • Talks about feelings & tell pretend stories by 36 months


  • Feeds self finger foods (baby crackers) at 6 months
  • Uses a spoon and cup & can drink from cups by 18 months

Please see your child’s physician about specifics and any concerns you may have. The statements above are simply generalized activities that can ideally be performed throughout different stages of development.

You may also contact the Arkansas Department of Human Services for more information by calling: 1-800-643-8258.

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