Develop Visual Tracking Skills Through Play

Raising Kids with Special Needs

Therapy in Disguise

When I work with children I focus on positive reinforcement and skill building through play so when I became a parent it felt natural for me to apply that focus to my own child. This really came in handy when I decided to find ways to help my son develop his visual tracking skills.

A few weeks back we took L to the eye doctor for his annual appointment.  Everything checked out fine except that the doctor noticed that L’s visual tracking skills were a little delayed.  He said it wasn’t a big concern but that we should implement some vision exercises to strengthen his visual tracking skills.

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Therapy in Disguise: Develop Visual Tracking Skills Through Play #visiontherapy #trackingskills #gamesfortheeyes #mosswoodconnections

What are Visual Tracking Skills?

Visual tracking skills are the ability to quickly and accurately look (fixate), visually follow a moving object (pursuit) and efficiently move our eyes so we can fixate on objects from point to point (saccades: more information here). It’s a skill we use every day to explore our surroundings, play sports, and in reading and writing which can affect academic performance.

Therapy in Disguise: Develop Visual Tracking Skills Through Play #visiontherapy #trackingskills #gamesfortheeyes #mosswoodconnections

Doing Vision Therapy at Home

This afternoon we made our own version of a standby vision therapy exercise “the pendulum ball”. We hung several balls and large water balloons from a rope that we strung between our patio and a tree. For the next hour or so, L entertained himself (and us) as he batted at the balls and balloons with various objects (tennis racket, wooden paddle, baseball bat, etc…).

This was a simple activity to set up and it captivated his attention far longer than I expected. It was especially exciting when he was able to burst the water balloons and the water sprayed in a magnificent waterfall. He had a lot of fun and therapy disguised as fun is always a good thing.

Watch a video explaining Saccades

Therapy in Disguise: Develop Visual Tracking Skills Through Play #visiontherapy #trackingskills #gamesfortheeyes #mosswoodconnections

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