Vision Therapy Can Help Improve Motor Skills and Visual Perception
Issues with motor skills and visual perception can affect your ability to tell the difference between similar letters, remember what you read, or catch a ball. Fortunately, vision therapy can improve and enhance these abilities in both children and adults.
Is a Visual Perception Issue Responsible for Poor Performance at Work or School?
Visual perception refers to your brain's ability to interpret the images it receives from your brain. Thanks to your visual perception skills, you can:
- Identify Objects
- Recognize Numbers and Letters
- Maintain Concentration
- Remember What You See or Read
- Discriminate Left from Right
- Write Legibly
- Track Objects
- Enjoy Good Hand-Eye Coordination
Visual perception issues can be mistaken for other problems in school-age children. For example, if a child has difficulty concentrating or doesn't enjoy performing certain tasks, parents and teachers may assume that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a behavioral issue, or even autism is to blame. In reality, the child may avoid homework because they keep losing their place when reading or can't perform basic math calculations because several numbers look exactly the same.
Problems with visual perception can affect adults, too. Is your desk messy, or do you have trouble staying organized? In some cases, the issue may actually be traced to perception issues that have existed since you were a child. It may even explain why your handwriting has never improved.
Motor Skill Issues Can Affect Every Aspect of Your Life
Problems with motor skills can make life more difficult whether you're an adult or a child. Without good visual skills, it's hard to master both fine and gross motor skills, such as holding a pencil, manipulating tools, navigating a computer mouse, catching a ball, running, or jumping. Poor motor skills can be caused by a variety of issues, including:
- Convergence Insufficiency. Convergence insufficiency (CI) occurs when you have difficulty focusing on near objects because your eyes don't work well together. CI and other eye-teaming issues can be the cause of poor motor skills.
- Tracking. It's difficult to follow a line of text on a page or guess where a ball will land if you can't track items with your eyes easily.
- Peripheral Vision Issues. Failure to recognize and react to activities that occur at the edges of your vision can affect your ability to excel in sports.
- Focus Problems. Performing tasks that require fine motor skills, such as copying information from a whiteboard in a classroom, can be a challenge if you have difficulty focusing your eyes.
Vision Therapy Offers an Effective Solution for Motor Skills and Visual Perception Problems
Vision therapy is an innovative treatment that helps you improve and refine the way you use your vision. During therapy sessions, you'll participate in activities, play computer games, and use prisms, lenses, balance boards, and other devices that will enhance the crucial connection between your brain and your eyes.
Vision therapy offers improvement in a number of areas, including:
- Eye Teaming and Tracking. You'll learn exercises that will strengthen the muscles that control your eyes and participate in activities designed to address convergence insufficiency. After 12 weeks of vision therapy, children with CI had fewer behavior problems and issues with reading, according to a study published in the Optometry and Vision Science Journal.
- Visual Memory. Targeted vision therapy activities can improve visual memory and your ability to remember items in the correct sequence.
- Visual Discrimination and Visual Form Constancy. It's hard to do well in math and reading if you confuse the numbers and letters. Thanks to vision therapy, you'll notice similarities and differences and be able to recognize a letter even if it is smaller than usual.
- Visual Motor Integration. Good visual motor integration is an important aspect of hand-eye coordination. During vision therapy, you'll learn how to synchronize information from your brain and eyes with the movements of your body.
- Peripheral Awareness. Peripheral awareness isn't just important when playing sports, but can also help you space words evenly on the page when you write. Your vision therapy plan will include games and activities that encourage you to pay attention to objects at the edges of your visual field.
Do you or your children have difficulty with motor or visual perception skills? Contact us to learn how you may benefit from a vision therapy program.
Sports Illustrated: Seeing the Benefit: MLB Teams Focus on Enhancing Players’ Visual Training, 4/21/15
College of Optometrists in Vision Therapy: What is Vision Therapy?
COVD: Convergence Insufficiency
Optometry and Vision Science Journal: Improvement in Academic Behaviors After Successful Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency, 1/12