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Having A Radar

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Karen Dishman

on 11 May 2018

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Transcript of Having A Radar

Observation Template
What does it take to be a "Good Observer"?
Having A Radar
Observation Skills in Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Contexts: Looking at the
"Big Picture"

Tips to "Tune In" to your Radar
Start with writing down a lot of what you see (even those little things that you notice)

Use a template to remind you of the areas you want to look at

Video or take pictures of your observation to catch the things that you miss
Lots of practice
Basic knowledge of normal development
Natural curiosity
Attention to detail
Observations of the environment...
Use all of your senses
Observations of social context
Do they interact with others (children or adults)?
Are interactions successful?
Do they make eye contact?
Is there communication effective?
What is limiting their communication?
How do they interact? Touch, verbally, pointing?
How is what the child sees effecting them?
How is the child reacting to the sounds?
How do smells effect the child's behavior?
What do they seek touching and avoid touching?
What reactions to touch do you notice?
Is movement clumsy or awkward?
Can they sit in a seat or do they stand?
tastes (if applicable)
What would the child see?
How big is the room?
How many people are in the room?
How is the room decorated?
How is the lighting?
Are there windows?

What does the child hear?
Is there talking?
Is there outside noise?
Is there music?
Is there background sounds like fans or air conditioner

What smells do you notice?
Are there strong smells in the room like perfume?
Are there calming smells like lavender?
Does anything stink?
Are there smells of cleaners?

What is touching the child or what is the child touching?
What furniture are they sitting on?
What clothing are they wearing?
What is in their hands?
How close are others sitting or standing to them?

Fine Motor Skills
How is posture when performing writing?
How is shoulder and arm positioned?
What muscle tone do you notice when writing or doing fine work?
How do they grasp small items?
How do they grasp pencil or crayons? Describe...
Can they transfer items between hands
How much pressure do they put on objects, pencil, or paper?
Do they rest hand on the paper?
How is the hand positioned when writing (above the work)?
Look at the hand arches and muscle development.
Personal Context
Sensory Integration
Normal Development
How do they respond to instructions?
How do they respond to authority or adults?
How do they react to other children?
What do they like or what motivates them?
What makes them upset or sets them off?
How does the adult or child respond to their behavior?
Is their behavior reinforced?
Similar to behavior in some aspects
Are they attending to what is happening in the environment?
Are they attending to the other stimulus in their environment?
Are they able to maintain attention to the task?
Are they able to attend to preferred activities?
Does their attention focus on many different stimuli?
What chronological age is the child?
What developmental age do you think the child is functioning at?
What time of the day is it?
Are they on their typical schedule?
What day of the week?
Gross Motor
What type of posture?
How is there balance in sitting, standing?
How is their strength? Can they open the locker?
How is their coordination? Can they open their pencil box or unzip a backpack?
Do they avoid movement?
How fast or slow do they perform tasks?
Gross motor
Fine motor
Normal Development
Is the child able to perform age appropriate tasks?
Is the ability level typical for that chronological age?
Amini, D.A. et al. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain & process 3rd edition.
American Occupational Therapy Association,
S1-S52. Retrieved from http://www.aota.org

Solomon, J.W. & O'Brien, J.C. (2011). Pediatric skills for occupational therapy assistants 3rd edition. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

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