To offer appropriate sensory stimulation and visual-motor play to promote children's eye control, visual perception and visual-motor integration and to enhance their overall learning performance.
Vision is vital to the development of children. Children not only explore their environment visually, but also learn through sight. Visual perception is the process by which our brain processes and understands visual information and responds appropriately to it. There are seven components of visual perception: visual discrimination, visual memory, sequential memory, form constancy, spatial relationships, visual figure-ground and visual closure, and poor performance in any of these components will affect your child's visual perception. Meanwhile, the child's visual acuity, eye movement control, visual attention, visual reception and attention strategies and visual-motor integration also have an impact on their visual perception.
Children with poor visual function may exhibit the following:
- Confusion between left and right, poor sense of direction
- Poor spatial awareness of front and back, left and right, up and down, etc.
- Frequent bumping into furniture or stumbling on stairs
- Difficulty in putting together puzzles, playing with Lego and building blocks
- Inconsistency in the size of characters, spacing between characters, and spacing between radicals and parts of characters when writing
- Skipping lines or missing characters when reading or writing
- Poor mathematical sequencing
- Difficulty copying from the blackboard at a slow pace
- Writes characters backwards or reverses parts of characters up and down or left and right
- Difficulty reading and understanding words and phrases they have read
- Squints, tilts head or covers one eye when reading
- Complains of having two images when looking at objects
- Tend to be tired when doing homework, rubbing eyes
- Dislikes physical education classes and avoids active group activities
- Find it unpleasant or unbearable to be surrounded by people running around, have difficulty processing too much visual stimulation
Through professional assessment and therapeutic activity design, occupational therapists can provide appropriate sensory stimulation and visual-motor play to help children improve their visual-perceptual related skills and enhance their reading, spelling and numeracy abilities.
KickStart also introduces the "Three-in-One Training Protocol: Vestibular System, Proprioception, Ocular Motor" developed by an American occupational therapist to help children with learning difficulties caused by poor visual perception. Studies have shown that the training protocol improves reading ability, reading speed, spatial concepts and language learning in children with learning disabilities, and that children in general exhibit significant progress in reading comprehension, reading speed, transcription and hand-eye coordination after using the protocol.