Is my child working too hard? Is s/he just wired for struggle?


KidsBrainTree  Fort Collins

Occupational Therapy at its best

- training the skills for living and learning

Is my kid wired for success or for struggle?

0 Has difficulty staying on task
0 Seeks ways to move
0 Zones out at times
0 Likes to rock in a chair
0 Has no sense of direction
Grips a pencil tightly - maybe too tightly
0 Has poor handwriting
0 Dislikes light touch ( tickles)
0 Dislikes cuddling
0 Avoids placing hands in messy substances
0 Places hands in pockets (often)
0 Has sensitivity to fabrics and tags
0 Has sensitivity to certain textures of food
0 Loses place when reading

0 Has poor reading comprehension
0 Has to reread text several times to understand it
0 Dislikes reading
0 Dislikes writing

0 Is argumentative
0 Has trouble taking another person’s perspective
0 Has poor organization skills
0 Gets motion sickness 
0 Avoids Confrontation
0 Has panic attacks
0 Is anxious over trivial matters
0 Displays irrational, aggressive behavior
0 Has a sense of never excelling at anything

These questions will help you better understand if your child’s brain and body are having to work much harder than needed. Anytime - during the day or night - that our brain is more active in the survival part, we do not have an efficient connection to the parts of the brain that allow us to focus, engage, problem solve, and stay emotionally grounded and our energy is spent poorly - draining our "battery" for that period.

Go through the Wired for Struggle Brain Checklist, and mark which (if any) behaviors describe your child. Leave the circle blank if the behavior does not describe your child. Put a X in the circle if your child does the behavior regularly (it would be considered a characteristic of your child). Put a slash (/) in the circle if your child does the behavior sometimes. You can download a hard copy by clicking here...

Kids Brain Tree (FoCo) | 3932 John F Kennedy Parkway, Suite 10 F, Fort Collins CO 80525 | +1-970-818-8768

0 Is easily overwhelmed
0 Avoids physical activities
0 Is always on the go – has a hard time unwinding
0 Likes chewing on something (including gum)
0 Starts tasks but doesn’t usually finish them
0 Has a sense of working harder than others to get the same results
0 Tilts head slightly to the side when conversing or reading or writing
0 Has difficulty letting go of a thought (e.g. still upset days later over a minor incident)


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0 Resists things that are new and different
0 Has difficulty making transitions
0 Has to be redirected several times
0 Hands are fidgety
0 Taps feet a lot
0 Can’t focus on what’s being said if there’s background noise
0 Has no sense of feeling full after eating
0 Has no interest in eating
0 Has difficulty waking up in the morning
0 Has difficulty sleeping
0 Is tired (much of the time)
0 Has trouble processing what people are saying
0 Quits whenever something doesn’t go as expected
0 Has difficulty tolerating a feeling of discomfort 

0 Acts “giddy”/overly excitable
0  Likes to have everything in order

If you have put an (X) or (/) in more than 4+ circles this indicates that it would be worth your time to explore how you can help support your child’s sensory, motor and brain development, decrease the amount of effort they need to complete tasks and wire their brains for more success, less struggle