skip to Main Content

What to expect during a Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS-2) evaluation

Bringing your young child to their first occupational therapy evaluation can be an overwhelming experience. At times, the therapist may forget to explain the details of the evaluation they are conducting, so I encourage you to ask if you have any concerns or questions. The following is a breakdown of what your therapist is doing and looking for during an evaluation using a test commonly called the Peabody. 

The Peabody is designed for children ages birth to 5 years old. This evaluation is made up of six subtests- Reflexes, Stationary, Locomotion, Object Manipulation, Grasping, and Visual-Motor Integration. Occupational therapists administer only two subtests – grasping and visual-motor integration.  These scores combined together create what is known as a Fine Motor Quotient, which defines how your child is performing with fine motor skills in relation to same aged peers. 

During the evaluation,  your therapist will often be flipping back and forth through a booklet! The Peabody requires the therapist to establish your child’s chronological age (exact age on the date of the test) and to take into account pre-maturity. This will determine where the therapist starts testing in the booklet.  Skills will be tested until your child reaches what is called a “ceiling,” which means he/she was unable to complete the last 3 tasks and has reached the height of their skill set. During this portion of the testing, you may see your therapist challenge your child with tasks they have never undertaken, most commonly scissor skills or buttoning. Although you may think this is odd, as it is clearly out of your child’s abilities due to their age, it is important to conduct the assessment as instructed to maintain the integrity of the test. Next, the therapist will go in the opposite direction, lower and lower down the skill set, until your child performs 3 tasks in a row perfectly, reaching their “basal level.” This is a clear indicator of whether he/she is behind their peers or displays age appropriate skills. These tasks may seem too simple for you child, but it is important to complete each as directed by the test. Once the Peabody is complete, your therapist may be able to give you an approximation of your child’s skills, but they will still need to score the test in order to provide you with a full picture of your child’s development. 

During the evaluation, it is best to allow your child to work independently with the therapist, with no or limited feedback from you as the parent. The therapist will spend ample time observing your child complete given tasks without assistance.  This is typical because as therapists we have to allow your child the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do on their own in order to help them in the future. As a parent, resist the temptation to jump in and help because that could compromise the results of the test. The therapist will most likely chat with you during and/or after the assessment in order to gain a clearer image of your child. Some children may be shy and not display their true skill set during an evaluation; therefore, the therapist can take note of their reported abilities at home.  Unfortunately, since they were not observed, those skills set cannot be counted as being officially achieved due to the standardization of the assessment. 

Always remember, your child’s therapist is there to serve your family to the best of their abilities, and if you ever have questions or concerns in the process of an evaluation or treatment, be sure to ask and discuss.

-Samantha Kelland, Occupational Therapist

Back To Top

Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
Read More