Preschool Guided Development

A child learns much faster during the first few years of life than at any other time.

This window represents a prime opportunity to guide your child to develop skills that will help him or her throughout school years and for the rest of his or her life. The visual system is an often-overlooked factor that influences the development of many other skills.

Many elements can interfere with the development of the visual system.  Complications during pregnancy or with the birthing process, childhood illnesses, head trauma or injury, inherited traits, and environmental factors can all contribute to functional vision problems in the future.

By the approximate age of three, a child should have coordinated movements, begin to alternate feet when walking down steps, hold eye contact at near.  By age 4, they should be visually interested in simple pictures, hold a crayon and draw or color, follow a moving target with just their eyes without whole head movements.

A child learns much faster during the first few years of life than at any other time.

This window represents a prime opportunity to guide your child to develop skills that will help him or her throughout school years and for the rest of his or her life. The visual system is an often-overlooked factor that influences the development of many other skills.

Many elements can interfere with the development of the visual system.  Complications during pregnancy or with the birthing process, childhood illnesses, head trauma or injury, inherited traits, and environmental factors can all contribute to functional vision problems in the future.

By the approximate age of three, a child should have coordinated movements, begin to alternate feet when walking down steps, hold eye contact at near.  By age 4, they should be visually interested in simple pictures, hold a crayon and draw or color, follow a moving target with just their eyes without whole head movements.

Indications your child may be experiencing difficulty with visual gross motor skills:

  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Avoid crossing the midline of their body (using the left hand for activities on the left side of their body and right hand for the right side )
  • Unable to track a moving object across the midline of their body with their eyes
  • Trouble learning and recognizing letters and numbers

Gross motor skills use large muscle groups and are related to active play.

Milestones at this age may include:

  • Alternate feet when walking stairs
  • Climb up jungle gyms with ease
  • Walk on tiptoes
  • Walk a straight line
  • Kick a ball
  • Pedal a tricycle

Guided Development Program

At Minnesota Vision Therapy Center, we will help to guide your child in general movement activities to enhance vision in a “whole child” approach—not just isolating the eyes but working with gross motor, balance (vestibular), laterality, fine motor, and eye movement activities.  Best of all, we do so in a way that is fun and engaging for the child.

Minnesota Vision Therapy Center offers a 10-15 week program of guided development for the visual system specifically designed for children ages 3 through 5.

At Minnesota Vision Therapy Center, we will help to guide your child in general movement activities to enhance vision in a “whole child” approach—not just isolating the eyes but working with gross motor, balance (vestibular), laterality, fine motor, and eye movement activities.  Best of all, we do so in a way that is fun and engaging for the child.

Minnesota Vision Therapy Center offers a 10-15 week program of guided development for the visual system specifically designed for children ages 3 through 5.

During this program, our board certified vision therapists will work once a week with you and your preschooler to customize activities that enhance the development of your child’s visual system. These activities have been compiled from time tested and proven therapy procedures.  The program is tailored to your child’s age and developmental stage and activities are designed to use common household items.

The Preschool Guided Development program is not a replacement for a vision therapy program; instead, it is preparation for a vision therapy program.

Promoting Good Visual Development for Young Children

There are many things that parents can do during this time to improve how the visual system functions later in life.

School-aged children and adults with functional vision problems often face a lifetime of learning difficulties and frustration in the classroom, workplace, and in everyday life.

Infants

  • Hold and feed your baby on alternate sides of your body
  • Hang a mobile from the side of the crib
  • Provide stimuli with different colors, sizes, and textures to look at and feel
  • Play pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo with your baby
  • Place objects on the high chair tray that can be safely dropped or pushed off
  • Do not rush walking; crawling is an important part of development
  • Provide an initial eye exam at 6 months of age, or sooner if problems are evident

Toddlers

  • Play ball games with your toddler
  • Read often to your toddler
  • Provide paper, crayons and markers for playtimes
  • Provide simple puzzles and building blocks
  • Try finger painting or chalkboard drawing with your child
  • Try outdoor activities such as swinging and spinning
  • Provide an eye exam at age three

Preschoolers

  • Continue to read with your child
  • Encourage play activities requiring hand-eye coordination such as block building and puzzles
  • Play simple memory games
  • Provide opportunities to color, cut and paste
  • Make time for outdoor play including ball games, bike/tricycle riding, swinging and rolling activities
  • Provide a preschool comprehensive eye exam
  • Watch for Symptoms of a functional vision problem

Are you are interested in having your preschool child evaluated?

Contact Us