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Perceptual Motor Problems

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: My son is in kindergarten and has a significant processing deficit found in students who have perceptual motor problems. His visual motor skills are far below his level of cognitive ability. What should we do to help him and how is this going to affect his education?

A: The best source for information is the person who tested your son and found the visual motor problems. He or she will be able to help you connect with resources in the school system and in the community, and can give you specific answers about how this will affect his school success.

In general, your son will probably need some accommodations in the classroom. He may need to be encouraged very early to use a word-processing software program to write stories. He also may need assistance with projects or activities that require fine motor skills. Talk with staff members at the school to determine what accommodations he will need and ask that they be included in his IEP (Individual Education Plan).

It may turn out that your son's biggest problem will be his own sense of frustration. You indicate that his level of processing is far below his cognitive ability, which means that your son will be very aware of the things that are difficult for him. By identifying this problem early in his school career, however, you will be able to get things in place to help him.

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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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