There is, I think, a fine line between wanting to give your child every opportunity you can and going overboard with tutors, coaches, and trainers just because you can. If a child is having difficulty or has a disability, it makes sense to get them help. But can there be such a thing as too much help? These days, it seems, well-to-do parents in New York are hiring occupational therapists to make certain their precious little snowflakes hold a crayon correctly. Before they even start preschool.
Pediatric occupational therapy is the hot new trend for parents with more money than they know what to do with, according to the New York Times. “The nursery admission people tell you they want your child to be ready to learn how to write,” said one father, who put his three-year-old in therapy because he grasped his crayon in his fist. “And I knew they would take one look at the way my son held a crayon and he’d be out of the running.”
The same father indicated that O.T.s are the hot new accessory among the upper class. “Even with the economy like it is,” he said, “the hottest question when we socialized at our country house this summer was not what country club do you belong to, but who is your child’s O.T. back in the city. And how can I get an appointment?”
Now I understand that some kids really do have issues that make seeking assistance from a qualified occupational therapist a good idea, but I think that interventions before the kid even gets into a nursery school — or even so the kid can get accepted into a nursery school — may just be going too far. On the other hand, perhaps if my parents had hired a therapist before I started school, my handwriting might be legible today.