While you might think of occupational therapy in the context of an adult patient, occupational therapy is often useful for pediatric patients. In pediatric occupational therapy, children will work on skills needed to complete everyday activities, such as motor skills. An occupational therapist (OT) may also work with a child to develop their visual motor control.
What is Visual Motor Control?
Visual motor control may also be referred to as visual motor integration. The two components of visual motor control are visual skills and motor skills. Visual motor control involves the coordination of these two skills and interpreting visual input. In order for a child to be successful in their visual motor skills, these systems need to successfully communicate with one another. For example, visual motor control is needed in order for a child being able to write down what they see on the board at school. These skills are a necessary part of daily activities for both children and adults, so if a child is struggling with their visual motor control, it is crucial to target these skills in pediatric occupational therapy.
Difficulties with Visual Motor Control
If a child does not develop visual motor control, they will likely experience difficulties with daily activities at both school and home. While difficulty with coloring may not seem pivotal in early childhood development, lack of visual motor control can also affect a range of skills, such as handwriting or taking notes from the board during class (skills that can directly impact the academic success of a child).
Ways to improve Visual Motor Control in Occupational Therapy
Children who experience difficulties with visual motor control may exhibit different symptoms, so these issues will not look the same in every child. Why is this the case? Some children with visual motor control issues will experience issues with visual skills only, some will experience issues with motor skills only, some will experience issues with both visual and motor skills, and some will experience issues with the two systems communicating effectively.
If your child is experiencing trouble with throwing and catching, handwriting, or other skills involving visual motor control, pediatric occupational therapy might be beneficial for their development. In the initial sessions, a pediatric occupational therapist (pediatric OT) will evaluate the skill level of your child. The OT will then be able to create a treatment plan to develop the sensory and visual motor control skills of the child. In pediatric occupational therapy, it is important for the OT to maintain open lines of communication with the parents or caregivers. This way, parents and caregivers can try to incorporate the activities from occupational therapy sessions into the daily routines of the child at home.
Would you like to learn more about pediatric occupational therapy in Chicago?
Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy today to hear more about the range of services we provide for children, including ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a therapeutic preschool program. Click the button below or call (773)980-0300.