Visual motor integration is essential in day-to-day life, particularly for kids. The ability to coordinate our visual processing and motor skills allows us to do everything from playing sports to taking notes. If you suspect your child might have trouble with visual motor integration, here’s an overview of everything you should know about this area of development, as well as some activities that can help improve visual motor skills.
How Visual Motor Integration Works
Visual motor integration involves combining visual perception and processing with motor skills, according to The OT Toolbox. Visual processing – our ability to interpret what we see – is a major part of visual motor integration. Through visual processing, we can recognize faces, shapes, and letters, as well as perceive where objects are oriented in space.
Visual motor integration brings action to visual perception. By coordinating our eyes and hands, we can complete tasks such as copying designs, stacking objects, writing, drawing and more.
Signs Your Child Struggles with Visual Motor Integration
Kids with visual motor integration issues might show the following signs, according to Allie Schmitt, an occupational therapy student on clinical at Little Steps. If you notice these issues in a child who doesn’t have vision problems and/or fine motor skill issues, you might want to consult a pediatric occupational therapist.
- Trouble completing puzzles
- Writing letters in reverse
- General clumsiness
- Difficulty cutting and tracing
- Issues navigating familiar settings at home and school
- Problems copying designs accurately
- Dropping or knocking over items
Activities to Improve Visual Motor Skills
You can help your child strengthen their visual motor skills at home with a range of fun activities. We recommend the following:
- Completing mazes
- Tracing letters, numbers and shapes
- Pouring liquid from container to container
- Playing with Jenga, Lite Brite or Legos
- Completing puzzles
- Doing connect-the-dots exercises
- Stacking blocks
If your child has considerable difficulty with visual motor skills, pediatric occupational therapy can help. Our team of pediatric therapists delivers comprehensive, compassionate care to improve the lives of children of all ages, one step at a time. Learn more about our services today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.