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VIsual/Motor Integration (age 7)

My 7 year old son needs help with visual/motor integration. He has LOTS of trouble copying from the board and his handwriting is extremely shaky. He works very, very slowly, which results in lots of homework because he does not finish everything at school.

He scored low-average on the BOT-2 (27% composite; 42% Fine Motor, 27% Manual Coordination, 27% Body Coordination, 38% Strength & Agility) so he is not going to qualify for OT services at school. What is our next step? Even though they can’t provide services, the school is willing to make accommodations, but we don’t really know what to ask for.

Do we approach an independent clinic and begin an at-home treatment program? How do we balance that with homework? He already spends all of his free time on homework, which is really not great for a little guy. Also, we have two other children, so our attention is divided. (Dad does homework with the first grader all evening; Mom handles chores, dinner, homework with the others, etc.)

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Hey there and welcome @LisaT

If your child is struggling with visual-motor integration, I would first start with a thorough eye examination, specifically looking at not only acuity (eyesight) but also binocular vision (coordinated use of both eyes). Many of the visual screenings performed at the Pediatrician’s office only look at eyesight.

If the school is willing to make accommodations, I would ask the OT who completed the eval to see what would be the most appropriate.

You could also look into outpatient OT. Some offices will bill your insurance directly, or they may be considered an out of network provider, in which case they can provide you with a bill and you can submit the bill for reimbursement.

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For the binocular vision, can the ophthalmologist catch this during routine check-ups? My OT mentioned that my son might have issues with binocular vision.

It has been my experience that some optometrists are a little more comprehensive with their assessments. But if you mention binocular vision specifically to your ophthalmologist and your concerns, you should be able to get a more thorough assessment.

Ok, thanks! I’ll bring this up with my son’s ophthalmologist.