If a number of difficulties are exhibited in the following areas, and are interfering with the child’s ability to perform at an age appropriate level within the kindergarten environment, an Occupational Therapy referral is recommended.

RED text indicates a red flag for an OT referral

  • Does not use a tripod grasp for drawing or writing
  • Unable to write name
  • Drawing of a person does not include head, facial features, arms and legs
  • Unable to copy ____ | O +
  • Unable to copy \ / X
  • Unable to copy square or
  • Drawing of a house is unrecognisable
  • Hand tremor present when drawing
  • Holds head close to paper when drawing
  • Avoids drawing
  • Unable to colour a simple picture staying within lines
  • Wavy lines instead of straight when tracing around a template
  • Unable to correctly place fingers in scissor loops 
  • Unable to cut along a 10cm curved line
  • Unable to cut out a circle or triangle
  • Elbows winging or tucked in tightly against side of body.
  • Unable to close fist and wriggle thumb
  • Difficulty with threading task
  • Difficulty folding paper in half and in half again
  • Unable to build a 6 cube steps in imitation
  • Unable to complete wooden puzzle (9 pieces)
  • Does not demonstrate hand preference
  • Unable to pick up small items using thumb and index with other fingers curled out of the way.
  • Unable to touch each fingertip to thumb.
  • Difficulty pasting simple shapes on paper
  • Difficulty with nuts and bolts
  • Unable to play or ‘work’ without adult supervision for 10 minutes
  • Unable to unwrap food wrap from lunch
  • Unable to manage buttons on clothing
  • Unable to use a knife to spread food items.
  • Unable to open zip lock bag
  • Difficulty cutting soft food using knife and fork
  • Fatigues easily whilst sitting on mat – leans on furniture or others for support
  • Unable to stand on one leg for 5 seconds
  • Unable to maintain seated posture at table for activity’s duration
  • Unable to hop on one foot for 8 hops
  • Unable to jump 5x – feet together and on the spot
  • Catches and throws beanbags
  • Difficulty walking on tip toes
  • Avoids messy play (paints, play dough, sand)
  • Covers ears frequently
  • Needs assistance to eat lunch
  • Twins or spins self frequently during the day
  • ‘On the go’ significantly more than peers
  • Eats or licks non-food items
  • Does not finish activity before starting another
  • Enjoys looking at moving and spinning objects more than peers
  • Difficulty copying body postures


  • Limited imaginative play – for example: home corner; dressing up
  • Unable to follow games with simple rules for example: hide and seek; duck duck goose
  • Finds it difficult to take turns.

Phone AIM Occupational Therapy on 0403 843 587 or email claire@aimot.com.au if you have any further questions.

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