Kid Works Occupational Therapy, LLC

Karen A Ilgen, OTR/L

Pediatric Occupational Therapist
1529 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Suite 1-D
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: (843) 991-2694
Fax: (843) 405-1316 


Parents often report that their child is having struggles in certain situations or with certain tasks. School is a common environment that a child will show areas of difficulty. Other events or places may include birthday parties, play groups, malls and other shopping areas, sports, arts and crafts, getting ready for the day or night, and following family routines.  

Some of the behaviors seen in children who struggle with daily life activities:

Fine Motor:   

  • Avoids fine motor activities all together (crafts and writing, drawing or coloring activities).
  • Awkward pencil grasp.
  • Poor scissor skills
  • Struggles in manipulating tools.
  • Difficulty with tasks requiring each hand to do something different at the same time.
  • Gets frustrated with crafts that peers are doing.
  • Difficulty with step by step instructions so creates their own structure.
  • Drawings are more representative of an object versus recognized as the object.  

Gross Motor 

  • Flinching or turning face away to the side when catching a ball. Difficulty catching a ball.
  • Apprehensive when attempting gross motor activities.
  • Avoidance or decreased motivation to engage in gross motor activities.
  • Struggles to hop, skip, jump or run.
  • Difficulty with coordinating both sides of the body (jumping jacks).
  • Does not seem to be aware of safety in climbing activities. 

Visual Perceptual Skills

  • Inattention and distractibility to written and reading tasks.
  • Difficulty in letter recognition and letter reproduction, reversal of letters such as b for d and p for q,
  • Difficulty copying from a blackboard or whiteboard,
  • Difficulty completing a puzzle.
  • Poor at following instructions.
  • Struggles with mazes, dot-to-dot, letter spacing, writing within a given area or on a line.
  • Difficulty writing in a given space or on a line with appropriate space between letters and words.

Social Skills 

  • Withdraws from social situations.
  • Avoids group interaction.
  • Lacks confidence in self.
  • Poor eye-contact, poor body language, decreased ability to read social cues of others.

Self Esteem

  • Compares self to peers and feels a sense of failure.
  • Often overlooks or forgets about their strengths and gift.

Sensory Processing

  • Behaves in a less desirable way in certain events and environments than at home or in a more uneventful situation. Chances are, they are not trying to be difficult, they are just trying to cope in the best way they know how.
  • Experiences sensory over-load in environments that may not be overwhelming to other children. This may indicate that they perceive certain types of sensory information more intensely than others do.  
  • Seeks out a great deal of input to remain focused and engaged in an activity. They are often seen climbing, running, wrestling, running into people or objects or possibly picking a fight with siblings to get the push pull experience that results from it.
  • Distracted by and/or Irritated by the feel of certain clothing, seams in socks and shirt tags. 
  • Uncomfortable or experiences pain with certain sounds.
  • Difficulty carrying out new and unfamiliar activities and tasks.

Please feel free to call for more information or questions regarding the above areas.