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Signs and Symptoms Checklist

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Aug 3, 2009   Category: Resources  

Below you will find an abbreviated Signs and Symptoms Checklist that can help you determine if your child would benefit from an evaluation.  The following lists address Sensory Processing, Speech and Language, and Gross Motor Skills.

Sensory Processing

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing visual information:

□ Sensitive to light (squints, blinks, covers eyes)
□ Poor reading, writing, and math skills
□ Distractible
□ Poor eye contact
□ Poor handwriting
□ Difficulty with puzzles
□ Difficulty with finding objects within a background

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing auditory information:

□ Slow to respond to his name or directives
□ Difficulty following 2- or 3-step directives
□ Distractible
□ Sensitive to sounds, for instance toilet flushing, fire alarm, school bell
□ Distracted by background sounds such as fluorescent lights, fans
□ Speech or articulation difficulties

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing taste and smell input:

□ Deliberately smells objects
□ Overly sensitive to odors
□ Licks, sucks, chews non-food items past the age of 18 months
□ Picky eater
□ Craves intense flavors (sour, spicy) and scents

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing tactile input:

□ Irritated by tags in clothing
□ Dislikes being hugged or touched unexpectedly
□ May hit a sibling or peer in response to a light touch or being bumped
□ Avoids getting hands messy
□ Becomes upset if face is messy
□ Dislikes haircutting, shampooing, nail trimming
□ Dislikes face washing
□ Dislikes tooth brushing
□ Is a “picky eater”
□ Resists nose wiping
□ Dislikes wearing certain fabrics
□ Refuses to walk barefoot on various textures, i.e. grass, tile, carpet
□ Becomes upset if clothes or socks are twisted
□ Has trouble with transitions
□ Does not seem to notice if clothes or socks are twisted
□ Tends to over react or under react to pain
□ Tends to not notice if hands, face, or clothes are messy
□ Constantly touching objects/people
□ Mouths/chews non-food items

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing vestibular input:

□ Always “on the go”
□ Seeks movement activities, such as swinging, merry-go-rounds, roller coasters
□ Enjoys climbing
□ Has difficulty remaining seated in chair
□ Climbs at the risk of his own safety
□ Enjoys spinning himself
□ Becomes car sick easily
□ Becomes upset with head being tilted backwards for hair washing
□ Hesitates to climb or avoid playground equipment
□ Sits slumped, props self with arms
□ Confuses right and left sides of body

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing proprioceptive input:

□ Clumsy/awkward
□ Bumps into things frequently
□ Difficulty with learning new motor tasks
□ Difficulty with fine motor tasks
□ Seems weaker than other children
□ Tires easily with physical activity
□ Avoids gross motor activities
□ Tends to be wiggly in his chair
□ Has trouble chewing foods/tends to not chew before swallowing
□ Drools (beyond expected age)
□ Has trouble chewing foods/tends to not chew before swallowing
□ Is a messy eater/stuffs food into mouth
□ Mouths/chews non-food items
□ Awkward pencil grasp
□ Poor handwriting
□ Increased pencil pressure
□ Poor posture (during writing tasks and while standing)
□ Tends to be slow in completing motor tasks, such as dressing or eating
□ Crashes into people/objects intentionally
□ Craves rough play
□ Tends to break objects when playing with them
□ Appears “lazy”

Signs that your child may be experiencing Social/Emotional Impacts caused by inefficient sensory processing:

□ Tantrums/ “Meltdowns”
□ Decreased ability to make/sustain friendships
□ “Bully”
□ Poor self-esteem/self-image
□ “I can’t” statements are often heard

*This is not an all-inclusive list.  Many tasks can be difficult for a child due to deficits in one or more sensory systems.  If you have concerns about your child, please contact Leaps and Bounds.


Speech and Language

Signs that your child may have a speech delay (difficulty producing speech sounds):

□ Unable to say certain sounds correctly
□ Unable to imitate sounds and/or words
□ Stuttering and/or gets “stuck” on words in conversation
□ Involuntarily repeats words in conversations
□ Voice is often too loud or too soft while speaking
□ Hoarse quality in voice
□ You have difficulty understanding what your child is saying 

Signs that your child may have a language delay (difficulty using and understanding words for communication):

□ Limited vocabulary
□ Difficulty following directions
□ Difficulty answering questions
□ Problems with putting words into sentences
□ Unable to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and ending
□ Has trouble making and keeping friends
□ Plays with toys inappropriately

Signs that your child may have oral motor concerns (oral awareness, strength, coordination):

□ Sloppy and/or messy eater
□ Excessive drooling
□ Difficulty drinking from a cup
□ Difficulty drinking from a straw
□ Unable to blow bubbles or whistles

*This is not a comprehensive list.  Please contact Leaps and Bounds for more information.


Gross Motor

 Signs that your child may have strength or coordination concerns:

□ Clumsy/awkward
□ Trips/falls frequently
□ Difficulty with learning new gross motor tasks
□ Seems weaker than other children
□ Tires easily with physical activity
□ Avoids gross motor activities
□ Feet turn inward or ankles roll inward
□ “Flat-footed”
□ Delayed milestones

*This is not a comprehensive list.  Please contact Leaps and Bounds for more information.

3 Responses to “Signs and Symptoms Checklist”

  1. Good read. I liked every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked and will be reading again.

  2. Outstanding post full of useful tips!

  3. [...] of the challenges and we provide fun, play-based therapy to improve skills. Please refer to our Development Checklist (Does My Child Need Help?) or call our office for a free consultation if you have concerns about your [...]

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