Ocular motor skills and visual tracking are crucial for your child as they learn to read and write. If children are mixing p for q, b for d, and mixing other letters, it could be a sign of a deficiency in the development of their ocular motor skills and visual tracking. This also affects their handwriting as well as their reading as they struggle to use their hands with their eyes to guide their hand across the page to write words and track them visually across a page.
This video shows a reader with poor ocular motor development next to a normal reader.
Aside from reading and writing, ocular motor skills are necessary for a number of tasks such as throwing, catching, organization, and navigating environments safely. Poor development of ocular motor skills can have a direct influence on your child’s ability to accurately perceive and receive visual information.
Fortunately, you can help strengthen your child’s eyes while they are young. There are a number of toys that can are both fun for the child and help with the development of their ocular motor skills and visual tracking.
Bead and Thread: This toy is good for visual stimulation and development of fine motor skills. Your child has to visually track the thread through the bead, as they use their hands and fingers to thread the string through the bead.
Wooden Maze: The goal is to track the marble through the maze from side to side. This toy is small so it allows your child to easily hold it in their hands to maneuver the marble through the maze. Because of its small size, this is a very transportable game that can used on vacations or car rides.
Figure 8 Train Track: This is a great toy for your child. Activities that feature a figure 8 are great for strengthening eyes. They help with ocular motor skills and tracking for reading and hand-eye coordination.
Marble Run: Being able to track from left to right as well as from top to bottom is important for developing your child’s reading ability. The marble run is great for developing ocular skills from top to bottom as the follow the marble down the track.
Bead Roller Coaster: This is another great toy that will give your child a chance to track both left and right and top to bottom. It allows them to use their hands as they manipulate the beads along the different colored tracks.
Ocular motor skills and visual tracking can be improved through vision therapy. As a parent it important that you educate yourself and watch for signs of poor ocular motor skills or visual tracking. If you have any concerns that your child’s ocular motor skills and visual tracking may not be developing properly then see a vision professional for an evaluation.
At Coleman Vision we provide comprehensive family eye care in addition to functional vision exams and treatment for all ages in the unique areas of vision development, vision and learning, visual therapy and sports vision. With over 65 years of family service, we are the only clinic in the Joplin area uniquely trained and experienced in providing the full spectrum of functional, performance-based vision therapy and care. Want more helpful health tips? Visit our blog at: /blog/