Why are Visual Motor Skills Important?
While you might think of occupational therapy in the context of fine and gross motor development, therapists work on visual motor development, too! Visual motor skills are an important part of childhood development and are needed to complete almost any activity. Without visual motor skills, a child couldn’t catch a ball, complete a puzzle, or put on their shoes!
What are Visual Motor Skills?
Visual motor skills are the controlled coordination of the visual system (eyes, head, and neck) and movement system (muscles, joints, and body parts) to perform a task. In order for a child to coordinate their visual motor skills, these systems need to successfully communicate with one another. As previously mentioned, these skills are a necessary part of daily activities for children, so if a child is having difficulty with their visual motor skills, it is crucial to target these skills in pediatric occupational therapy.
What do Difficulties with Visual Motor Skills Look Like?
○ Difficulty stacking blocks or stringing beads
○ Has trouble catching a ball or throwing it to a target
○ Sloppy handwriting and drawing skills
○ Difficulty writing on or coloring in the lines
○ Works with items close to body/face
○ Difficulty cutting along a line
○ Excessive time for dressing tasks (buttons, shoe tying, etc)
○ Difficulty aligning numbers in columns for math problem
If a child does not develop visual motor skills, they will likely experience difficulties with daily activities at both school and home which can directly impact the academic success of a child.
Next Steps For Children With Visual Motor Skill Difficulty
If your child is experiencing trouble with throwing and catching, handwriting, coloring, dressing, or any of the above mentioned activities involving visual motor skills, occupational therapy might be beneficial for their development!
Would you like to learn more about pediatric occupational therapy in Chicago?
Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services and how we can help your child flourish and grow.