Objective. This study examined preschool children’s acquisition of fine motor skills and functional performance when occupational therapy services are included as part of the educational program. It also investigated the relationships among fine motor skills and functional performance in self-care, mobility, and social function.
Method. Twenty-six preschool children who received weekly occupational therapy were studied. Measurements of their in-hand manipulation, tool use, eye–hand coordination, grasping strength, and functional performance in self-care, mobility, and social function were taken at the beginning and end of the school year.
Results. Raw and scaled scores showed significant improvements in all skill areas; standard scores showed slight improvement in eye–hand coordination and mobility function. Correlations of the motor skill tests with the functional performance scales using year-end data revealed significant correlations for in-hand manipulation, eye–hand coordination, and grasping strength with self-care function and mobility.
Conclusions. The results demonstrate the level of change that occurs in fine motor skill and self-care, mobility, and social function during the course of the school year for preschoolers with moderate fine motor delays. The relationships found in the year-end testing imply that performance in underlying fine motor skills as the focus of occupational therapy intervention is associated with self-care and mobility function.