What is Fine-Motor/Visual-Motor Development and Related Dysgraphia?
- Fine-motor/visual-motor development is the developmental process of utilizing the arms, hands and fingers for skillfully reaching, grasping and manipulating objects and tools. As with gross-motor development, fine-motor development begins to develop the first day of life.
- Fine-motor/visual-motor incoordination and developmental delays are frequently related to overall dyspraxia (difficulty motor-planning) as well as underlying sensory processing challenges.
- Fine-motor/visual-motor dyspraxia is most frequently demonstrated by difficulty with bilateral/unilateral hand skills such as establishing dominance, manipulating, buttoning, shoe-tying, folding, cutting, coloring, drawing and tracing.
- Occupational Therapy support for fine-motor dyspraxia often involves designing and creating appropriately graded developmental activities that provide enhanced sensory feedback to improve fine-motor accuracy, speed and skill.
- Dysgraphia is an extension of dyspraxia, with motor-planning/sequencing difficulties compromising handwriting skills.
- Dysgraphia can be evidenced by the following: slow and labored copying and writing, poor spatial planning on paper, difficulty thinking and writing at the same time; illegible printing/cursive despite time and attention given to task; inconsistencies in quality of writing including case, size, shape, slant and spacing.
- Strategies for dysgraphia are frequently related to compensations and accommodations, including: word processing, oral exams, structural outlines, reducing copying demands, extra time, and various writing aids.