Visual Perception Tips from Jaime Spencer an Occupational Therapist

Today’s tip comes from Jaime Spencer from Miss Jaime, O.T. is a pediatric Occupational Therapist specializing in the fine motor and handwriting skills of preschool and elementary school children. In this interview, Jaime shares her knowledge with listeners along with information on her free Webinars. Be sure to follow Miss Jaime on Facebook Live by clicking this link.

Expert Advice

Educating Parents Builds Parental Support

Children who’s parents are involved in their child’s occupational therapy usually make more progress. Jaime says she makes an effort to always explain to the parents why we did something, because I see such a disconnect with what the child thinks is playing and what is actually theory.

Don’t Just Assume it is ADD / ADHD or Sensory Processing Disorder

When a child is struggling, usually there’s a flat-out reason for it and it is usually a simple explanation. However, Jaime explains that we need to be careful not to assume it is a disorder. In other words, look to see if there is a simple explanation causing the issue. Her example was a student who was struggling in a classroom where the furniture was too big and the child was having a hard time getting comfortable.

Core Strength and Writing

Many student who struggle with hand-writing lack the necessary core strength. Contact an OT for help. Jaime offers more information on her website. Do you need information and activity ideas to work on pre-writing and handwriting? Jamie offered a FREE webinar “Pre-writing and Handwriting Tips and Tricks” 

Using “Read Aloud” Settings in the Browser

Some students struggle with fatigue can use the read aloud setting and utilize listen skills. If the option doesn’t appear in your browser, try copy and pasting the link into Explorer and under internet settings choose read aloud or try (ctrl + shift + g). This can also be done even if it is a pdf. There are also read aloud settings in common software programs such as Microsoft Word and Google Sheets. I use a mobile app called Speechify.

Become Knowledgeable about Visual Perception

Visual perception looks different in a school or educational setting. Jaime discussed the common issues relating visual perception and how many students need practice with visual tracking. There is less playing outside and more staring at computer screens all day. Through out the day, our eyes need to practice looking near and far. Additionally, a recent increase in near-nearsightedness, meaning many can see up close just fine. Below is a link to a free resource explaining the signs your child may have difficulty with vision to help parents and teachers . Check out Jaime’s eye exam handout:

Tips for OT Professionals

OT professionals who are contractors, learn more about educational credentialing and how to advocate for equal rights here:

Published by We Love Teachers

Hi there and welcome! I’m Jennifer Fenn – Project Lead the Way and Robotics Teacher. I’m also a freelance curriculum developer and technical writer, educational blogger and founder of We Love Teachers Podcast.

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