With a distorted and confusing body map, you may feel overwhelmed trying to sit still and can't wait to put away the book.
Similarly, children who are finding it difficult to build up their foundation reading skills because the contents of the book look fuzzy, backwards, or moving, may also feel the desire to disengage from reading as quickly as possible, any may avoid reading by:
- Being distracting or 'silly' in the classroom to avoid having to complete the reading tasks
- Be extremely quiet in the classroom so that the teacher may not notice that they haven't completed the reading work required
- Clearly see the map/book (visual system) and maintain your eye's accurate focus on the map/book when your eyes and head move left, right, up and down (vestibular, visual, proprioception systems)
- Be able to feel and interpret the directions of the map/letters (gross motor skill development, vestibular, visual, proprioception systems) so that you know how to locate the features of the map/letters on the left, right, up, and down directions of your body and your environment without feeling lost or disoriented.
- Have the ability to show your friend how to navigate the map when they are standing next to you, as well as when your friend is standing in front of you (mirrored in direction to your body). Completing a maze with a friend is a great way to quickly observe the ability of children's orientation and spatial awareness skills.
- visually track our caregiver who is moving around the room,
- reach out with both arms to be picked up by our caregiver,
- tap two blocks together to make noise
- bend upside down to touch the ground with our bottom up in the air
- accurately place food from the highchair tray into your mouth without making a big mess,
- crawling under the table without bumping into the table legs,
- rolling from tummy to back and back to front without getting stuck half way, smoothly running, jumping, climbing around our environment without feeling too dizzy to keep moving our head and body.
Our visual system isn't able to develop to it's potential for reading without our body firstly understanding the directions of left, right, up and down from the support of the two functioning vestibular and proprioception systems.
- Losing their place when reading
- Needing to use their finger or ruler to keep track of where they are on the page
- Re-reads words, skips words, or misses lines of text
- Substitutes, repeats, or confuses similar words when reading (pat, bat, mat, met)
- Low reading endurance either due to fatigue of eye muscles and sensory systems, headache, or short attention span
- Poor comprehension or remembering what is read as they have needed to focus so intensely on their visual and sensory skills
- Errors and slow speed when copying from a chalkboard or book to paper.
- Difficulty setting out math equations in correct alignment
It is these fundamental motor skills above that children need to practice and master before expecting the brain and eyes to be able to accurately read.
- Visual sensory system
- Vestibular sensory system
- Proprioception sensory system
- Gross motor skill development (body awareness, spatial orientation, core strength, crossing the midline)