Visual-Motor Perception Board
What is VISUAL-MOTOR PERCEPTION?
Visual perception is the brain’s ability to make sense of what the eyes see.
The eyes and all the other senses (proprioception, touch, balance, smell, taste and hearing) send impressions to the brain. It is only once the brain has overlapped all the data from the different senses (sensory integration) that it can make sense of what the eyes see.
The eyes are the last of the senses and the last of the muscle groups to develop, which makes the eyes vulnerable to the maturity of the entire sensory-motor for perception, comprehension and expression.
Visual-motor perception is a natural consequence of an erect and stable posture from where meaning can be given to sensory input from the environment through muscles output (speech, drawing, writing, reading, etc.). The way a learner moves physically establishes neural pathways that over time can transform into the lines and curves of language and mature into letters, numbers, words and sentences.
Language is not only an aural ability but also a visuospatial phenomenon. Human development begins with extensive movement and only limited cognitive efficiency; gradually, that pattern is reversed so that the individual moves less and requires more on a cognitive level. What was once only known physically can eventually be appreciated within the graphic symbols on a page.
The way a learner moves physically establishes neural pathways that transform into the lines and curves of letters, numbers, words and sentences.
What is the purpose of the Neuro Dynamix Visual-Motor Perception Board?
The Neuro Dynamix Visual-Motor Perception Board gives a learner an opportunity to (i) look at and (ii) draw the various shapes and lines that are part of visual-spatial and visual-motor development. This activity highlights the learner’s fine motor abilities and visual-perceptual motor skills. For that reason, there are vertical and horizontal lines, diagonal lines, and simple geometrical shapes.
Difficulties with common features that arise from postural immaturity are visual and auditory sequence processing, inadequate reproduction of geometrical shapes, confused spatial orientation, clumsiness and difficulties with surface and deep structure language.
Warm up with Mind Moves before you introduce the Neuro Dynamix Visual-Motor Perception Board:
The learner must push the forefinger against the thumb, maintaining the pressure for a count of eight, then let go. Repeat for each finger. This move differentiates the parts of the hands. It also improves muscle tone in both hands, penmanship, fine motor control and communication skills.
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Ask the learner to move his arms in a mirror image as though conducting a choir. You can also encourage the learner to draw geometric shapes while moving the two hands in mirror image. This is a fun way to develop rhythm, eye-hand coordination, focal and peripheral vision, left and right integration in preparation for fluent speaking, reading and writing.
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The learner has to keep his head straight and look at one thumb, held at elbow distance from the eyes. He then moves the thumb to the left (at nose level), and then slowly to the right, crossing the visual midline. He first has to do this with the eyes closed, imagining the position of the thumb. He then opens the eyes and checks whether the eyes and thumb are in the same position. Repeat this move five times and then repeat it five times with the eyes open. The learner must now repeat this exercise with the thumb held up and eyes turned up into a visual position (without turning the head), first with his eyes closed and then with his eyes open. He then repeats the exercise with the thumb and eyes down into a kinaesthetic position, first closed and then open. Rub the hands together briskly and place the warm palms over the eyes to relax them. This move stimulates easy transition between visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning. It promotes eye-hand coordination and crossing the lateral midline.
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Suggested activities for the Neuro Dynamix Visual-Motor Perception Board:
- Ask the learner to use the holes at the back to remove the shapes and place them to the left of the board. Set the alarm on your phone and time how long it takes the learner to return all the shapes in sequence. Repeat the activity and compare the times.
- Use a clean blindfold to cover the learner’s eyes. Ask the learner to remove the shapes carefully and place them to the left of the board. Set the alarm on your phone and time how long it takes the learner to return all the shapes in sequence. They need to use their fingers to feel the board and identify which shape they need to find starting at the top left-hand corner. They need to complete the shapes in the same sequence as they appear on the board – from the top left-hand corner to the bottom right-hand corner.
- Remove the shapes and place the board vertically above eye level with the bottom of the board in line with the learner’s nose. Place a blank page in a landscape position in front of the learner. Ask the learner to use a pencil and trace each shape in the correct sequence and position as on the board. They may look up to see which shape comes next.
- Place the board vertically above eye level with the bottom of the board in line with the learner’s nose. Place the board at an angle so the pieces do not fall out. Ask the learner to copy the shapes on a blank page that is turned in a landscape position starting from the top left-hand corner (+) and ending with the last shape in the bottom right-hand corner (□). Write the date on the back of the paper and file it in the learner’s progress folder.
- Repeat the activity but without the board on display to see the sequence of patterns. When done ask the learner to compare their picture to the sequence on the board. If the sequence was not correct, encourage the learner to look at the board while you hold it in the air without any shapes falling out. Remove the board and ask the learner to draw the shapes. Compare the outcome. Write the date and indicate which one was the first attempt. Continue this activity over a few weeks until the shapes are neat and the sequence correct.
- Remove the shapes using the holes at the back of the board and place the shapes to their left. Place the board on the desk with the spaces for the shapes facing up. Place a blank page on the board. Remove the paper from a crayon and place the crayon flat against the board to do a shape rubbing. Be sure that the learner rubs from left to right while the board stays in front of them. This enables the learner to cross the visual and kinaesthetic midline quite a few times. Blindfold the learner before replacing the shapes.
- Use the rubbing and encourage the learner to turn each shape into a picture. Discuss the shapes and the pictures.
- Use a blank page and a pencil to create a work of art by tracing the various shapes. It can be a realistic or an abstract picture. Encourage creativity.
What skills relate to the Neuro Dynamix Visual-Motor Perception Board?
- Tactile perception
- Visual analysis and synthesis
- Visual discrimination
- Visual constancy
- Visual memory
- Visual foreground /background
- Eye movements
- Crossing the midline
- Eye-hand coordination
- Fine motor skills
- Spatial orientation
- Neuro-motor maturity
- Pre-writing skills
- Pre-reading skills