Why Motor Skills Matter.

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Transcript Why Motor Skills Matter.

Motor Skills that Enhance Learning for Life

Bob Sornson, Ph.D.

Earlylearningfoundation.com

Why Do Motor Skills Matter?

Why Do Motor Skills Matter?

• An essential part of brain growth and development in the early years • A catalyst for the development of listening, speaking, attention, emotional control, and visual motor and visual thinking skills • Essential for academic readiness • Important for social success

Three Bodies of Evidence Exercise Motor Skills Cardiovascular Fitness

Checklist for Optimal Brain Functioning and Readiness for Learning o Balance o Crossing the midline (gross and fine motor skills) o Beat competency o Visual fitness o Comfortable visual motor skills o Nutrition o Hydration o Rest o Emotional safety o Cardiovascular fitness o Regular exercise

Essential References • Hannaford, C., Smart Moves, Why Learning is Not All in Your Head, Salt Lake City: Great River Books, 2005.

• Ratey, J., Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, New York: Little Brown, 2008.

• Liddle, T.L., & L. Yorke. Why Motor Skills Matter. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Readiness for Learning

Why are more children experiencing delays in the development of important sensory motor skills?

The Sensory-Motor Progression

Solid tactile, auditory, and visual processes Adequate Balance Gross Motor Skills, including Bilateral Motor Skills Fine-Motor and Visual-Motor skills Near-point Visual Skills Visualization and Visual Memory Optimal Readiness for Reading, Writing, Spelling and Mathematics

Solid tactile, auditory, and visual processes

School-aged children with significant tactile, auditory processing, or visual dysfunction require specialized support services

Adequate Balance

• • • • • • • Consider OT or PT referral for significant balance problems.

The Motor Moms and Dads Volunteer Program 30 Minute Motor Skill Development Plan Gross Motor Developmental Skills Profile BrainGym Balametrics BalaVisx Play

Gross Motor Skills, including Bilateral Motor Skills

• • • • • • • Consider OT or PT referral for significant gross motor problems.

Motor Moms and Dads Volunteer Program 30 Minute Motor Skill Development Plan Gross Motor Developmental Skills Profile BrainGym Balametrics BalaVisx Play

Fine-Motor and Visual-Motor skills

• • • • • • • • Consider OT referral for significant fine motor problems.

30 Minute Motor Skill Development Plan Gross Motor Developmental Skills Profile BrainGym Balametrics BalaVisx Ready to Write Visual Motor Integration Program

Visual motor play

Near-point Visual Skills

Young children with near-point visual skill delays can usually be helped by improving the balance, gross motor, and bilateral motor skills. Once the balance and bilateral motor systems are stabilized, visual motor and near-point vision will usually develop.

Older children with near-point visual skill delays may need specialized support from a vision specialist to avoid the frustration of being asked to draw, print and read without the skills to sustain close-up vision.

Common Symptoms of Near-point Visual Distress

• • • • • • •

General Observations:

one eye drifts or aims in a different direction than the other (look carefully -- this can be subtle). This is significant even if it only occurs when the child is tired or stressed.

turns or tilts head to see head is frequently tilted to one side or one shoulder is noticeably higher squinting or closing or covering of one eye excessive blinking or squinting short attention span for visual motor activities poor visual/motor skills clumsiness on playground or at home

Common Symptoms of Near-point Visual Distress

• • • • • • • • •

While reading or doing close work your child:

holds the book or object unusually close closes one eye or covers eye with hand twists or tilts head toward book or object so as to favor one eye frequently loses place and fatigues easily always uses finger to read rubs eyes during or after short periods of reading omits or confuses small words loss of place when reading, line to line and word to word. child's ability to learn verbally surpasses his ability to learn visually

Common Symptoms of Near-point Visual Distress

• • • • •

Your child frequently complains of:

only being able to read for short periods of time headaches or eyestrain nausea or dizziness motion sickness double vision Or if your child has developed an avoidance pattern for visual motor play, reading and writing.

Visualization and Visual Memory

• • • • • • • • Rich language experiences for children who cannot retell stories or make up stories Visual-motor creative play, i.e. draw, build structures, dress dolls, crafts Imaginative play Lindamood-Bell’s Visualize and Verbalize Visualization and Visual Memory exercises Block memory Spelling with visual memory Math manipulatives

The Sensory-Motor Progression

Solid tactile, auditory, and visual processes Adequate Balance Gross Motor Skills, including Bilateral Motor Skills Fine-Motor and Visual-Motor skills Near-point Visual Skills Visualization and Visual Memory Optimal Readiness for Reading, Writing, Spelling and Mathematics

Movement Goals for Every Kindergarten Student Impeccable Balance

Movement Goals for Every Kindergarten Student Fluid Skipping

Movement Goals for Every Kindergarten Student Throwing and Catching

Movement Goals for Every Kindergarten Student Comfortable Visual Motor Skills

Movement Goals for Every Kindergarten Student Impeccable Balance Fluid Skipping Throwing and Catching Comfortable Visual Motor Skills

What Teachers Can Do 1.Provide movement in the classroom for all children. Consider using transition activities with movement, centers with movement, recess.

BrainGym, Bal-a-Metrics, Bal-a-Visx, Project First Step, and other movement programs. Encourage play at 2.At the preschool and K-1 levels, use the Motor Moms and Dads Volunteer Program for all children.

3. Give some children extra opportunities to move or wiggle.

What Teachers Can Do 4. Identify children with mild to moderate sensory motor delays and develop a plan to deliver more movement practice at the correct instructional level, using The 30 Minute Motor Skills Development Plan. Consider options at home or at school. 5. For children with significant tactile, proprioceptive, and/or vestibular delays, consult an occupational therapist and develop a plan for home and school.

What Teachers Can Do 6. Educate parents about the importance of movement in the home. Nurture relationships with parents who are open to learning how to improve the learning outcomes of their children.

Discuss

What will happen to children with poorly developed sensory-motor systems when they meet the intense learning expectations of a typical school?

This is Urgent!!!

Greater Content Expectations At Younger Ages The Importance of Early Learning Success

Bob Sornson, Ph.D.

Early Learning Foundation Earlylearningfoundation.com