Each Week OT expert, Sarit Tresser will be giving an in-depth insightful analysis into the various ways Health Games aid children with disabilities. Stay connected to receive first-hand input from a professional in the field of child development
Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) often show difficulties in their perception and learning. Often a child with motor clumsiness will also demonstrate difficulties in visual or spatial perception, quantity perception, sense of directions, understanding, memory of sequences, and more. Often this will result in learning difficulties.
The virtual environment creates two advantages in regards to acquiring perceptual skills. One is the motivational factor and other is the involved of movements during the learning process.
Increasing motivation is especially significant in a situation where the child has gained a wide range of failures and struggles in the past, finding it hard to cope with the learning task, that can be experienced by the child as a threat. By being interesting, stimulating and positive, the Timocco virtual environment presents a conceptual content and a playful experience that increases motivation and extending his attention in the activity.
Occupational therapy treatment frequently uses sensory – motor activities that involve movement of the body in order to enhance learning. The learning can be focused on improving motor skills, but often, the motor activity is the basis for learning and internalization of spacial perception, directional, sequence of actions, and sometimes preparation for handwriting and writing letters and numbers.
According to these principles, we will use the virtual environment of Timocco that involves movement, to work on perceptual skills. Timocco can improve a child’s spatial perception and abstract thinking by understanding the connection between the hands and the monkey’s movements. Also, the child learns that he can control the movements of Timocco and interact with the game. You can also work on perception and recognition of numbers and quantities, such as in the balloon game of Timocco that requires the child to hit the balloon as the number of dots that appear on it, or on the higher level, according to digits. Other games focus on visual and auditory sequence (simon), categorization (sorted fruit baskets) and the distinction between figure and background.
Through the motion game and the motor experience in the virtual environment, we can challenge the child and help him to internalize concepts of space and to improve perceptual capabilities in a wide range of areas of learning and cognition.