Visual Perceptual Deficits

occupational therapy at bergen pediatricOften times, people take little things for granted. For many people, this can include something as everyday as the ability to open a water bottle or even write one’s name on a piece of paper. However, there are many children who are born with disadvantages that prevent them from learning and performing such fine motor skills.

What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills are the abilities to use small muscles (one’s fingers, wrists, etc.) to perform tasks. These abilities are crucial to everyday life, as menial tasks can sometimes be the most crucial ones. Identifying and aiding a child’s fine motor disabilities is vital for his/her development and, in turn, his/her future.

What Are Graphomotor Skills?
Some of the most important fine motor skills are graphomotor skills. Graphomotor skills involve the ability to use one’s fine motor skills to perform the task of writing. While writing a legible sentence may seem extremely easy, many children have trouble concentrating on and accomplishing this goal. It is important to be attentive towards a child’s inability to write instead of writing it off as misbehavior.

What’s At Work In A Child’s Writing Brain
Multiple aspects of a child’s brain are working in order to complete the task of writing. Typically, it’s not an inability to write, but a confusion in certain parts of the brain at work. A few of the key components to writing include:
Visual Perceptive Skills (link this to Visual Perceptive Deficits page): the ability to decipher graphics/images into words
Orthographic coding: the ability to memorize the images of words and patterns
Motor skills: understanding how to use one’s muscles in order to perform physical act of writing

Identifying Graphomotor Skills Problems
It may be tough to identify a child’s problem with writing. Often, it can be misconstrued that a child is simply misbehaving or rebelling against academia. A child may not be able to perform this task or have extreme difficulty with it. That is why it’s important to look for these indications of a child’s problem with graphomotor skills:
-Passing off writing assignments to others
-Extremely sloppy handwriting
-Writing curiously slowly
-Disliking hand-eye coordination tasks
-Grasping a pen/pencil awkwardly
-Refusing to write at all costs

What To Do About Graphomotor Skills Concerns
If you’re concerned that your child may have graphomotor skills issues, you must help to fix it. Parents can help a lot at home, but a child can benefit the most from professionals who offer solutions. Solutions include training using different tactics. Writing exercises, visual perceptive practice, and other strategies can have a combined effect that leads to one’s child improving or perfecting his/her graphomotor skills.

At Bergen Pediatric Therapy we combine all of the therapies together with a   team centered approach by collaborating with physicians, therapists, and others involved in the child’s care.
Contact us to learn how we can help your child or schedule a complimentary evaluation of your child’s needs and free facility tour.

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