If you suspect that your child may have a learning challenge it is always important to get a professional assessment. Flutterbys will gladly assist you in this process. The information provided here should be used as a guide only to help you identify if there may be issues and a professional assessment is required.

A child may have issues with proprioreception if:

  • The child sits/crawls/walks late.
  • Has a problem with the tactile and vestibular sense.
  • Has a poor sense of body awareness.
  • Is stiff, clumsy, uncoordinated, falls and trips easily.
  • Leans, bumps or crashes into objects and invades others body space.
  • Has difficulty caring out unfamiliar and complex motions.
  • Can’t do familiar tasks without looking.
  • Manipulates tools to hard, breaking them.
  • Pulls on, twists or stretches clothing.
  • Has difficulty going up or down stairs.
  • Slaps feet when walking, sits on feet, stretches limbs, pokes cheeks, pulls on fingers and cracks knuckles.
  • The crawling phase was very short or absent.
  • The crawling phase was too long.
  • Can’t dress, or use buttons and zips.
  • Handles small objects with difficulty.
  • Feel heavier than they look.
  • Have flat feet.
  • Slouch or lea on objects and people exessively                                                    
  • Lie around.
  • Tire easily.
  • The mouth hangs open.
  • There is excessive drooling.
  • They are clumsy and fall a lot.
  • They don’t seem aware of being touched.
  • They seem aimless.
  • They don’t explore.
  • They exhibit self stimulating behavior such as rocking.
  • They can’t feed themselves.
  • They can’t go to the toilet on their own.
  • They get easily frustrated.
  • They exhibit acting out behavior.
  • They are unable to adapt to change.


A child may have issues with the vestibular sense if:

  • Oversensitivity:
  • Dislikes being rocked.
  • Is intolerant to movement and therefore avoids it.
  • Overreacts, negatively and emotionally to normal movement.
  • Dislikes physical activities, such as running, biking
  • Is slow moving, hesitant, and sedentary and avoids risks.
  • Avoids having head inverted.
  • Tense and rigid, avoids changes in head movement.
  • Uncomfortable on stairs.
  • Gets motion sickness.
  • Appears willful, manipulative, uncooperative or a sissy.
  • Demands continual physical support from adults or peers.
  • Has gravitational insecurity.
  • Dislikes being thrown in the air.
  • Dislikes swinging, spinning or rolling.
  • Fears stairs or heights.


A child may have issues the tactile sense if:


  • The child is over active or constantly seeking movement.
  • Craves intense spinning and doesn’t get dizzy.
  • Is a thrill seeker and daredevil.
  • Needs constant movement.
  • Enjoys being upside down.
  • Poor balance, falls easily.
  • Bumps into objects and furniture.
  • Walks on toes.
  • Loses balance easily.
  • Has a poor sense of direction.
  • Has poor discrimination of balance and movement.
  • Looses balance when climbing stairs, riding a bike, tiptoes or stands on one foot.
  • Moves in uncoordinated, awkward ways.
  • Is fidgety.
  • Has low muscle tone i.e. is loose and floppy.
  • Tires during physical activity.
  • Has poor posture and has difficulty remaining upright in a chair
  • Confusion over whether they or something else is moving.
  • Misunderstanding words related to movement and space.



  • Dislikes being touched or cuddled.
  • Instantly & intensely exhibits the fight/fright, fight/freeze response to harmless touch sensations.
  • Dislikes messy activities.
  • Is bothered by certain types of clothing.
  • Prefers long sleeves and pants even in summer or dresses lightly in winter.
  • Becomes aggressive or anxious on very windy days.
  • Picky eater, avoids some foods due to texture, or prefers food to be at same temperature.
  • Dislikes bathing, swimming, brushing teeth or having hair cut.
  • Has poor peer relationships.
  • Dislikes crowded places.
  • Finds places to hide.
  • Dislikes new clothes.
  • Dislikes playing in sand and water.
  • Avoids using hands.
  • Gets irritated in groups.
  • Under responsive:
  • Prefers to touch rather than be touched.
  • Likes to touch things all the time.
  • Seems excessively ticklish.
  • Lacks normal awareness of being touched.
  • Unaware of cuts and bruises, high pain tolerance.
  • Has poor body awareness, requires firm pressure to know where body is being touched.
  • Does not notice how clothes feel or whether they are on correctly.
  • Insensitive to room temperature.
  • Sloppy eater unaware of food on mouth, face and nose.
  • Chews on inedible things.
  • Physically hurts others or pets, not comprehending the pain others feel.
  • Inappropriately invades others space.
  • Mouths toys excessively.
  • Pinches/bites/hurts themselves.
  • Poor tactile discrimination:
  • Dislikes textured objects.
  • Seems unaware of the sensations received from hands.
  • Has trouble using tools.
  • Avoids initiating tactile experiences, such as picking up items that others find appealing.
  • Has trouble perceiving objects physical properties.
  • Without aid of visual cues can’t identify body parts that have been touched, identifying familiar objects solely from touch,
  • Is clumsy in tasks such as zipping, buttoning, tying and adjusting clothes.
  • Prefers standing too ensure visual control of the environment, squirms and sits on the end of chair.



A child may have issues with gross and fine motor movement if:

  • They have difficulty with eye movements.
  • They have difficulty using eating utensils.
  • They have difficulty walking, hopping, skipping, throwing, catching, riding a bike.
  • A delay in speech or are difficult to understand.
  • Are bumping into objects.
  • There is late establishment of laterality.
  • They have difficulty with fine motor tasks.
  • They have difficulty with writing.
  • A poor sense of direction
  • Poor motor planning.
  • Have trouble organizing and planning steps in sequence of body movements, novel as well as familiar activities might be difficult, especially if can’t see what they are doing.
  • Have difficulty positioning the body.
  • Has difficulty knowing where body is in relation to objects, falls, trips, bumps into things
  • Shows fear when moving in space
  • Poor gross motor control for running, climbing, jumping and stairs
  • Poor self-help skills
  • Poor fine motor control for precise manual tasks, toes curling, walking barefoot and  mouth for speaking or chewing
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Low self esteem
  • Switching writing utensils from one hand to the other hand.
  • Has trouble tapping opposite parts of body with opposite hand.
  • Has trouble reading smoothly from left to right, stops in middle to refocus.
  • Has trouble with visual tracking.



A child may have visual perception issues if:

  • The child has red/sore/tired eyes.
  • Is sensitive to light.
  • Dislikes having eyes covered/being in the dark.
  • Avoids eye contact.
  • Has difficulty following objects with eyes.
  • Cannot differentiate colours and shapes.
  • Shields eyes or squints.
  • Complains of seeing double.
  • Has difficulty shifting gaze from one object to another.
  • Turns or tilts head when reading or watching TV.
  • Has difficulty tracking objects and printed word.
  • Fails to comprehend what is being read and loses interest.
  • Confuses the discrimination of pictures, symbols or words.
  • Omits words and numbers or loses place when reading.
  • The child has form constancy problems.
  • Has difficulty with fine motor tasks involving spatial relationships.
  • Orients drawings poorly on a page.
  •  Misjudges spatial relationships in environment.
  • Confuses left/right and has a poor sense of direction.
  • Battles with up/down, before/after/first/second.
  • Fails to visualize what is read, not relating mental images to reality.
  • Is uncomfortable with moving objects/people.
  • Get tired easily.
  • Withdraws from classroom participation and avoids group activities requiring movement.

A child may have auditory perception issues if:

  • Seems very sensitive to sounds.
  • Overacts to unexpected sounds.
  • Makes own loud noises.
  • Distracted by normal household sounds.
  • Doesn’t pay attention when spoken to.
  • Gets confused with direction of sound.
  • Dislikes singing or dancing to music.
  • Has difficulty with rhythmic sounds.
  • Unable to listen to stories.
  • Have trouble identifying voices and discriminating sounds.
  • Unable to pay attention to one voice without being distracted by another.
  • Become distressed by sudden loud, metallic, high pitched sounds or sounds that don’t bother any one else.
  • Has trouble attending to, understanding, and remembering what is heard, misinterprets requests, asks for repetition, only able to follow one/two sequence instructions.
  • Look at others before responding.
  • Talk off topic.
  • Can’t close circle of communication.
  • Has trouble correcting or revising what she has said to be understood.
  • Weak vocabulary, poor sentence structure.
  • Difficulty reading aloud.
  • Trouble making up rhymes and singing in tune.
  • Speaking improves after intense movement.
  • Difficulty speaking and articulating clearly.


A child may speech and language issues if:

  • Unusual baby sounds
  • Does child add new words regularly
  • The child has not developed speech
  • The child’s speech development stopped for a while


A child may have oral-motor issues if:

  • Oral defensiveness/under responsiveness.
  • Feeding and eating problems such as: difficulty sucking, chewing, and swallowing.
  • Picky eater.
  • Difficulty with new foods.
  • Difficulty digesting and keeping down food.
  • Gag, choke or drool.
  • Chronic constipation, diarrhea.
  • Dental problems.
  • Upper respiratory problems.
  • Poor postural control, low muscle tone, poor proprioreception, poor balance and coordination, difficulty feeling and staying centered, difficulty crossing midline.
  • Poor speech and language development: limited use of gestural vocabulary and facial features, inappropriate use of speech sounds.
  • Difficulty with expressive and receptive language, inappropriate use of inflection and breath when speaking, inappropriate volume.
  • Visual and visual motor problems: poor binocularity, problems with eye-body coordination necessary to colour draw write, catch, throw and cut, difficulty looking straight at what doing or going.
  • Problems with attention and behaviour: inability to calm self or be calmed, insistence on elaborate routines before bed, eating, changing and activity, difficulty with transitions, difficulty with familiar, everyday routines.
  • Social and emotional development problems, including interpreting and responding adaptively to other emotional and social cues, isolated from group, tendency to bully or be bossy, difficulty communicating and using appropriate ways to get needs met, poor self esteem.


A child may have interaction and communication issues if:

  • Is difficult to calm.
  • Is restless.
  • Is inactive.
  • Non-responsive when spoken too.
  • Avoids eye contact.
  • Plays with toys in unusual ways.
  • Uses gestures to communicate.
  • Shows little interest in people or environment.