Task Organization and Executive Functions

Practicing for success with Reading Comprehension Math ● Science ● Technology Task Organization is an “executive function” that is organized at the highest level  within the cortex of the brain.  Executive Functions have been described as a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  According to WebMD examples of executive functions include: Managing time Paying attention Switching focus Planning and organizing Remembering

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Fine Motor Skills Part 2

The Visual Component The ability to use vision to guide the sequencing of  motor output is a defining point in the development of fine motor competency. Acquisition of this skill allows for use of tools for self care, including utensils as well as grooming aids such as combs for hair care and razors for shaving. A growing child will also need to learn to

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Fine Motor Skills Part 1

The Motor Component combines visual guidance with hand function skills Fine motor skills develop throughout infancy and continue to develop through the teen years.  Initial developmental skills with hand function are directed toward success with: simple grasp patterns the ability to separate fingers for object manipulation the ability to use both hands together During the preschool years, grasp patterns mature to include recruiting vision

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Strengthening Visual Perception Skills

Intentionally incorporating vision with hand function   Visual perceptual skills do not operate in isolation.  For efficiency, the brain incorporates eye movements with neural pathways that extend to include language, vestibular, and hand function skills.  This is one of the primary reasons why many  pediatric occupational therapists provide “heavy work” movement activities for children before sitting them down at a table for hand function

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Bilateral Motor Control

Bilateral Motor Control refers to incorporating use of both sides of the body during motor activities.  The processes are also commonly referred to as Bilateral Motor Integration.   Typically, bilateral motor control refers to incorporating either symmetrical  or reciprocal motor patterns.  An example of symmetrical motor patterns is shown above as the children lift both arms of their bodies in a joyous expression.  An example

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Capturing Attention

Heavy work activities are often used to improve postural control and upper body stability.   The heavy work helps to modulate attention and to prepare the upper body to support follow up fine motor skills.  However, physioball walk outs  and other resistive activities commonly used for heavy work can easily become routine, resulting in decreased attention to task and postural control. We found a discounted

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Impacting Your Environment? Fingers Please!

In part, because the fingers are situated away from the center of the body, and they require more brain power to access, coordinated improvement of finger patterns are among the latest to develop during childhood. Infants are born with grasp pattern reflexes that allow them to hold objects early in development.  However, integrated patterns of touch sensations followed by motor expression begin to take

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Visual Sequencing Skills: Following step-by-step instructions

Visual sequencing essentially incorporates the use of language skills as you talk yourself through a task.  However the activity presented to this youngster incorporates a wealth of additional learning skills. Visual Sequencing involves use of the concept “what comes next?”  This is a vital reading readiness skill  in that the youngster is required to mentally organize a series of  visual images/letters along with their

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Understanding Directions

Navigational skills – being able to sequentially follow directions does not come easily for persons with Sensory Processing Dysfunction.   While many might consider this skill to be somewhat intuitive, developmental theorists have shown us that this skill  initially develops in childhood from learning experiences we have with manipulating objects in space. It is from this basic platform of building and constructing projects that the

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Back to School with Sustained Visual Regard!

Getting youngsters with Sensory Processing Disorders to sustain visual attention and visual pursuits as needed for greater success in reading and exploring the environment can be problematic. Without sustained visual attention, the ability to name  and understand the functionality of whatever it is you are looking at, is difficult.  Without the ability to sustain looking for visual pursuit of the object as it  moves,

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