Therapy for Preschoolers | Fairfield, Westport, Wallingford, Darien CT | Center for Pediatric Therapy
Darien: (203) 424-2584
Fairfield: (203) 255-3669
Wallingford: (203) 949-9337


A young female, mixed race, Occupational Therapist sits cross-legged on the floor of a hospital beside her young patient. She is dressed semi-casually in dress pants and a button-up blouse, and is engaging the young boy with an interactive bk she has laying out on the floor between them. The young boy is kneeling on the floor in a button-up shirt as he works with the therapist.

We help preschoolers with developmental difficulties

Preschoolers have so many expectations placed on them. We expect them to sit and pay attention during circle time, write their letters, and get along on the playground. Our therapists are here to assist your child gain the necessary skills for advancement and improvement during this important developmental stage.

Frequently Asked Preschool Questions:

Please also see FAQ page for more information

My child gets therapy at school. Why does he need more?
When your child receives therapy at school, it is considered educationally based services.  What this means is that services are provided to address only those skills that are necessary for your child to be successful in his educational setting.  Many times these services are provided in a group setting. The Center for Pediatric Therapy provides individualized medically based services.  This means that intervention can address any area impacting your child’s ability to succeed.  It is often appropriate for your child to receive both educationally based and medically based services.
My pediatrician says everything is ok? But my gut says something is wrong, what do I do?
It’s important to trust your intuition. You know your child best. Your pediatrician sees your child for a brief moment and does not see the day to day struggles that you may be having. Don’t discount your instincts.  If you have a question, please call.
Why can’t anyone else understand what my child is saying?
Articulation difficulties are when a child has trouble producing and forming sounds accurately.  If you find that listeners are unable to understand what your child is saying, an evaluation may be appropriate to determine if this is typical for development or a language delay. Some sound substitutions are common in language development. Our speech-language pathologist would be happy to discuss any concerns.
Why does my child not understand what we are saying to him?
If your child seems to have difficulty answering simple questions or responding appropriately to a question, he may have a receptive language delay.   Receptive language refers to the skills involved in understanding language.
If we speak more than one language at home, will it cause our child to have a speech or language problem?
No. Children speak their first words at around the same time, whether there is one or more than one language spoken at home. A child with dual languages at home may have a slightly delayed time frame when speaking his first words, but it still should be within the typical age range (18 months of age). If you speak more than one language at home and your child has not spoken his first word by 18 months, then you may want to consider an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist.  
Should I worry if my child stutters?
Most children stutter at some point in their language development. Typically, children who are acquiring more complex language will have a stutter as they are learning to use language in different ways. Stuttering can begin around the age of 1 ½, and can continue intermittently until a child turns 5 years old. If you suspect your child truly has a stutter because it is consistent and impacting his ability to communicate, you may want to contact a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation.
Why is my child easily frustrated and have meltdowns?
It is common for children to fluctuate between being happy, content and frustrated.  Does your child consistently have trouble maintaining this balance or frequently have meltdowns that last a long time? Does your child have difficulty transitioning to new situations, or struggle tolerating changes in routine? This can indicate an underlying difficulty with sensory regulation and should be evaluated by an occupational therapist.
Why will my child only wear certain outfits?
It is common for a child to have a favorite outfit or preference for certain types of clothes.  If you find that your child is overly particular about how clothes feel, refuses to wear certain items consistently, complains often about how his socks feel, or resist wearing seasonally appropriate clothing, this may indicate an underlying sensory processing difficulty.
Why does my child get upset at parties or family gatherings?
Getting together with family and friends is often a joyful experience.  For some children, this experience can be overwhelming. The various sounds (singing Happy Birthday), smells (Grandma’s perfume), or unexpected hugs and kisses can send your child off crying into a corner.  This multi-sensory environment can create a fight or flight response in your child, possibly due to his difficulties processing sensory information.  This can indicate an underlying difficulty with sensory regulation and should be evaluated by an occupational therapist.
Why does my child avoid playground equipment?
Time at the park involves many children running, laughing and playing.  Do you ever notice your child alone, avoiding the crowds, swings, and slides? Playing at a playground requires a child to decide what he would like to play with, negotiate the environment, and interact with other children.  In order to do this, his sensory system needs to be functioning at an optimal level.  Motor planning, body awareness, and bilateral coordination are all essential skills needed for your child to be successful.  If you notice your child struggling consistently at the playground, an evaluation by an occupational therapist may be appropriate.
Why is my child not as coordinated as his peers?
Coordination requires a child to have a strong awareness of where his body is in space and the ability to map out where he is in relation to other people and objects.  Does your child trip frequently, fall out of his chair, drop objects often, or struggle getting himself dressed? This may indicate that your child does not have a good map of where he is in space.  An evaluation by an occupational therapist may be appropriate to rule out any type of sensory processing difficulty.
Why can’t my child sit in circle time?
Sitting for circle time is a learned skill.  Just as when you are learning something for the first time, it takes practice and repetition.  However, after repeated exposures, is your child still having difficulty sitting and attending to a structured activity?  There are many possible reasons why this may be challenging.  Adequate postural control, attention, and self-regulation are all required for him to sit and participate.
Why won’t my child play with messy things? (grass, finger paint, play-doh, sand)
We all anticipate that our children will love to finger paint, play with play-doh, and simply enjoy getting dirty.  For some children, this can be very upsetting. The mere idea of putting a finger in finger paint can cause distress and sometimes can even result in a meltdown.  Tactile defensiveness is an over-reaction to certain sensations in which one comes in contact, from clothing, to hair brushing or getting a hair cut.  An occupational therapist is trained to help evaluate and treat those who struggle with these daily activities.
Why does my child gag when he eats?
Some children are eager to try new foods. However, others can find the introduction of new foods to be a stressful experience.  It is important to keep in mind it can take as many as 15 exposures to a new food for your child to finally tolerate it.  However, if you see things such as a constant resistance to trying new foods, frequently pocketing food in his cheeks, or gagging, this can indicate a food aversion or oral motor difficulty.
Why does my child have difficulty holding a marker?
We all expect that our children will love to color.  However, have we ever taught our children how to hold a marker? Even in pre-schools, teachers expect children to automatically pick up the marker correctly.  For some children, this skill is not acquired naturally.  Some children seem to hold the marker in a tight fist, some hold it too loosely, and others change the way they hold it every time they pick it up.  This can indicate an underlying fine motor difficulty, decreased postural control and proximal stability, and decreased processing of proprioceptive information.  Occupational therapy can help.

What are my next steps?

Please see Getting Started or Contact Us if you would like to set up an evaluation.