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Quiet Eye Training to Help with Visual Motor Skills

Quiet eye training to help with visual motor skills - www.YourTherapySource.com/blog1Are you familiar with “Quiet Eye Training”?  This is a technique that attempts to get the eye to focus more instead of flicking about during coordination tasks.  It teaches the eye to look at the ball long enough to process the information.  The individual is reminded to briefly look at the exact spot where you want to send the ball (throwing or kicking) and then settle your eyes onto the ball and leave your focus on the ball.

A recent study in Research in Developmental Disabilities looked at using the Quiet Eye Training (QET) with 30 children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).  Previous research indicated that QET was more effective than traditional training (TT) when teaching 8-10 year old children to throw and catch.  Traditional training teaches children how to control their arm movements during throwing and catching.

During the training the children were evaluated on performance and gaze.  In addition, motion analysis data was collected at pre/post-training and 6-week retention.

The results indicated that the QET group significantly increased QE durations from pre-training to the 6 week retention whereas the TT group experienced a reduction in QE.  QET participants showed significant improvement in the quality of their catch attempts and increased elbow flexion at catch compared to the TT group.

The researchers concluded that: QET changed DCD children’s ability to focus on a target on the wall prior to the throw, followed by better anticipation and pursuit tracking on the ball, which in turn led to improved catching technique. QET may be an effective adjunct to traditional instructions, for therapists teaching visuomotor skills to children with DCD”.

Do you use QET in your therapy sessions?  Would love to hear about the outcomes?

Reference:  C.A.L. Miles, G. Wood, S.J. Vine, J.N. Vickers, M.R. Wilson.
Quiet eye training facilitates visuomotor coordination in children with developmental coordination disorder.  Research in Developmental Disabilities. Volume 40, May 2015, Pages 31–41. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2015.01.005

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