Vision Therapy Helps Motor Skills and Visual Perception

Children reading in a row

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.

Sources:

Sports Illustrated: Seeing the Benefit: MLB Teams Focus on Enhancing Players’ Visual Training, 4/21/15

https://www.si.com/edge/2015/04/21/seeing-the-benefit-mlb-vision-training-tampa-bay-rays

College of Optometrists in Vision Therapy: What is Vision Therapy?

https://www.covd.org/page/vision_therapy

COVD: Convergence Insufficiency

https://www.covd.org/page/Convergence

Optometry and Vision Science Journal: Improvement in Academic Behaviors After Successful Treatment of Convergence Insufficiency, 1/12

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22080400

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Testimonial

  • "Before our daughter began vision therapy she was struggling with reading and sports. We thought she was just clumsy (walking into walls and falling a lot). My wife and I know something was't quite right; so we had our daughter tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, took her to an optometrist and to an eye specialist at a hospital. My wife's mother urged us to see Dr. Gordon. A significant visual tracking problem was found.
    After vision therapy our daughter went from needing extra help with reading to reading above grade level. She is now excelling in softball and has been named to the All-Star Team this year. She has become more confident and willing to try new things."
    "We can't thank Dr. Gordon's office enough for our daughter's success."
    Drew D.
  • "Before vision therapy reading was terrible. Nothing made sense on the paper. Vision therapy helped me with spelling and reading. I'm not skipping lines when reading and I love how I was taught to spell. I bring home 100's in spelling and reading is coming along too!
    I'm also on the Honor Roll at school too!"
    Elizabeth S.
  • "Our son was in 2nd grade when we found out that he had vision problems. He was referred to the occupational therapist in school for his handwriting. After her testing she called to tell us that all of signs were related to vision problems. Our son complained of headaches, motion sickness and very bad handwriting.
    Most of his teachers were telling us they thought he had ADD or ADHD.
    His attention span in school was short and he rushed through his work. He absolutely hated anything that had to do with writing.
    After starting vision therapy we saw improvements very quickly; as well as his teachers. His handwriting has improved tremendously and his posture is much better.
    We are so thankful for the occupational therapist discovering his vision challenge. We drove an hour and a half each way to Dr. Gordon's office for our weekly vision therapy sessions.
    The success of our son was well worth the drive."
    Amber W.
  • "What a difference! It has been an emotional roller coaster dealing with certain aspects of our son's left. But it was refreshing to know that we could count on the staff administering vision therapy to have his best interest in mind. To watch our son overcome the obstacles he had prior to vision therapy is worth everything. We absolutely recommend vision therapy because we have seen what it can do for our child. We are grateful for vision therapy and couldn't imagine his life without it!"
    Jerome K.
  • "I saw words differently and struggled throughout my childhood with my sight. After years of testing and appointments I found Dr. Gordon who diagnosed a Convergence Insufficiency. After a few months of vision therapy I was amazed at the my improvement.
    My life is truly changed!"
    Ella S.
  • "My son has always struggled in school. As an educator I looked for answers based on what I knew; learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. By the time he was in 4th grade I had to find some way to help my son. I realized that many of his symptoms were similar to many of my students who had Central Auditory Processing difficulties. Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center confirmed the diagnosis and recommended a visual processing evaluation. No one ever considered his reading challenges to be related to a visual processing problem. Since starting vision therapy his struggles in school have decreased, his math grades have improved as well as his reading; and he is more confident in his ability to succeed."
    Joanne L.
  • "Dr. Gordon is a developmental optometrist, which means...he is trained to deal with eye dysfunctions beyond simple near-sightedness/far-sightedness and...he can help improve vision through behavior programs. Dr. Gordon patiently worked with me to get the best possible prescription...He's a compassionate and very competent eyecare professional, and I strongly recommend him."
    Michael L.