Fine Motor Delay or Dysfunction

Fine Motor Delay is any disruption or dysfunction in the coordination of the muscles, bone and/or nerves that produce small and precise movements. An example of fine motor skill is;

  • Picking up a small item with index finger and thumb
  • The ability to determine the shape and weight of an object by touching it or lifting it

Problems in the brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles or joints may all contribute to problems with fine motor skills.


The Occupational Therapist (OT) will evaluate your child. The OT will talk to you about your child’s medical history and the difficulties your child is having.

The OT will observe and examine your child looking at; muscle movement, strength, grasp and release of objects, using two hands at the same time, sensation and handwriting.

The OT may also use a standard test such as the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS-2), the Bruininks-Osteretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2) or the Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST).


You and your child’s OT will talk about the treatment your child needs. Treatment is different for each child.

Common activities and exercises areas include; range of motion, strengthening, coordination, and learning specific skills.

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