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emilyd
emilyd asks:
Q:

Is my 4 year old behind?

My child is 4 years old and is very verbal and understands very well. Her motor skill I think may be behind. She does not want to color except scribbling for about ten seconds. Her writing is very bad and her cutting is not very good. She can't put doll clothes on without help. Legos are too challenging.  She just started pre-k so she has a whole year before kindergarden. Her attention span is very short as well. She was a drug exposed baby who we adopted at birth. Should I be concerned or just see what happens this year is pre-k.  
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, Cognitive development
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Jul 8, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk. There are so many skills that children need to learn between birth and kindergarten age to be "ready" for school.  Sometimes, skill development can be uneven.  For example, a child will learn to say his first word and then take his first step weeks later.  The same can be true when they are four.  Perhaps your daughter is working at other developmental milestones such as socialization, language or self-help skills (such as toileting, washing, dressing herself).  Small motor skills, such as writing are important to school, however she is young and has much time to achieve them.  Keep exposing her to blocks, washable markers, clay/play-doh, Legos and other "hands on activities".

If you continue to be troubled, and it sounds like her early drug exposure is a concern for you, then please feel free to contact your local school district and ask for an early childhood intervention screening.  Specialists will invite you for a meeting to ask about your daughter's development and whatever history you can provide. Then they may observe your child, if warranted.  Also, if she qualifies for special assistance, they will be able to discuss this with you, as well.
 

Try and keep a log of her achievements by writing on a calendar.  This will help you to document when some developmental milestones have happened. (e.g. Such as the day she learned to ride a bike with training wheels)

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
http://www.SigningFamilies.com



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Additional Answers (4)

douautism
douautism writes:
I am a Pre-K teacher. Scribbling is the first stage of writing so be patient while this develops. Expose your child to activities that will develop the muscles in the hand that are necessary for writing.(painting, playing with play-doh, writing with chalk on a chalkboard, finger writing in flour, shaving cream, sand, pudding, etc.) I'm sure your Pre-k teacher will provide your daughter with many of these activities. Create play scenarios that will encourage her interest in writing.(making a menu, playing store,etc.) I hope these ideas will help. Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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kelli7
kelli7 writes:
I am a former pre schoool teacher and nanny now a stay at home mom.  Keep encoureging your daughter and provide fun interesting fun things for her to do at home.  Markers, no mess paint in general, home made playdough all these things will encourge her to use her hands and strengthen her hand mucels.  You could also ask her teacher if she has any suggestions that could be doing with her  at home to help her with these skills.  Don't lose heart, keeping encoureging and loveing your daughter, all the rest will come together.
> 60 days ago

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dancekam
dancekam writes:
Like you said, she has a year to develop her fine motor skills.  Check out this blog for great fun activities to help her.
http://educationtipster.blogspot.com
Let me know how you like it.  Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
Almost all of these preschool arts and crafts activities have a fine motor element, from practicing cutting and gluing to threading and drawing. Take a look, and good luck with your child. Everyone develops at a slightly different rate and it's great that you are on the lookout for ways to help your child.

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