This practical handbook, [easyazon-link asin=”1935567179″ locale=”us”]Eyegames: Easy and Fun Visual Exercises: An OT and Optometrist Offer Activities to Enhance Vision![/easyazon-link], opens with a beautiful segue describing light as the main factor in vision and our need to be outside and connected to nature. Natural light and time outdoors are key factors in all aspects of our health and in the introduction, they get right to the heart of the matter:
Occupational Therapy and Sensory Integration
The focus of this book is Occupational Therapy and general sensory integration concepts. The book states, “visual areas of the brain are strongly dependent on touch for proper development.” The exercises given involve classic OT tools –shaving cream, scooter boards, therapy balls and textured toys. Some are more easily performed at home without special equipment, such as writing letters on another’s back, finding things in the dark (to improve visual memory), and dancing with scarves or streamers.
Sucking and Visual Focus
I enjoyed learning that sucking on sour candy brings facial muscles and therefore eyes into a more focused state. They recommend sour tastes before a child attempts a near-vision task such as reading or putting together a puzzle.
A section on visualization highlights the notion that the mind sees as well as the eyes and brought to mind my favorite book of guided visualizations, [easyazon-link asin=”0877734224″ locale=”us”]Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children for Learning, Creativity & Relaxation[/easyazon-link] by Maureen Murdock.
Screen Time Cautions
Along with imploring the reader to spend free time outdoors, the authors deliver a stern warning of the adverse affects of too much screen time suggesting it contributes to “inadequate visual development.”
This book is both a manual of exercises to improve functional sensory experiences as well as a collection of articles and essays written by the authors, one an OT and the other a Behavioral Optometrist.