Smart MovesTM is designed for children who have more in-depth challenges with their handwriting and is coordinated in conjunction with the Handwriting Therapy program to support the development and achievement of handwriting success. It’s called Smart Moves for a reason. Kids love this fun, active therapy that gets their eyes, body and brain moving, coordinating and integrating.
If you’ve noticed your child struggling with any of the common signs and symptoms listed on this page, help is close at hand.
We’ll contact you no later than the next business day to schedule.
Learning is a complex and multi-sensory process. One of the most misunderstood areas of learning readiness is how to prepare your child’s body to learn.
If your child is grappling with some (or all) of the following skills, it may signify that their body is not yet ready for optimal learning:
Preparing your child’s body for optimal learning is vital to their academic success now and throughout their life. Together, we’ll look at the building blocks for learning, or what we call “Smart Moves,” and discover the impact they have on your child’s learning development.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, the influence of technology, less time playing outside, your fear for your children’s safety, and being heavily scheduled between organized activities and educational events have all limited the freedom of free play and movement. Did you know that children spend 25% less time with free play than they did a generation ago? The result – children’s bodies are not ready for optimal learning by the time they enter school.
If you’re like most parents you likely consider academic skills (e.g., writing their name, counting, knowing shapes and colors) as markers for school readiness, but learning readiness refers to a much broader range of skills. If your child enters school without these essential skills, they quickly must play “catch up” when compared to their peers who are advancing more rapidly. Preparing your child’s body for learning will create a positive school experience from the get-go and provide a critical foundation for lifelong success with writing, reading, and attention.
As a parent, you probably conclude that learning only happens through the brain. You’re not alone. Most knowledgeable parents don’t understand the link between body movement and the learning process. The brain becomes “wired” for learning through the development of sensory-motor skills.
Sensory-motor skills refer to the brain’s ability to organize and process sensory input (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, balance and awareness of where your body is in space) to create a specific motor output (body movement). The maturing of sensory-motor skills begins in the early stages of natural development and influence a child’s ability to meet specific “developmental milestones.” When you were a new parent, you were most likely hyper-aware of the developmental milestones to watch for in your child (e.g., sitting, crawling, walking).
If your child did not meet these milestones promptly, you would quickly make an appointment with your pediatrician to see how you could help them. You knew enough that you would not expect your child to walk before they sat up. That would seem ridiculous! However, you may expect your child to be ready for learning just because they are school age.
Like the fundamental skills acquired in the first year of life, a child’s body continues to develop other essential and refined developmental milestones, such as fine motor skills and the coordination of the two sides of the body, which are critical for academic learning.
These refined developmental skills are essential for your child to enable them to learn and accomplish everyday activities.
For your child to sit still in a chair, they must have strong postural stability (ability to maintain an upright position). To control a pencil for writing, your child requires well-developed fine motor skills. To reproduce shapes, your child needs good visual-motor coordination. To be able to read, your child’s eyes must be able to track a line of text across their midline (imaginary line down the center of the body that divides the body into left and right). For proper sizing of letters without reversing them, strong spatial skills are required.
Finally, your child needs good visual perception to quickly:
Today, many children are straining against accelerated academic curriculums designed for children with a mature sensory-motor system. Children with mature sensory-motor systems learn quickly and automatically, while children without these skills experience feelings of frustration, anxiety, and failure when confronted with tasks.
If your child gets thrust into a learning environment where they are pushed into academic tasks before they are ready (especially pencil and paper-based tasks and reading), they will build these skills on an immature and faulty foundation. A weak foundation leads to your child developing inefficient or work-around strategies to participate in classroom activities.
These work-around strategies may help short term, but not for long. As the demands of the classroom increase, your child’s ability to keep up weakens significantly. When your child can’t keep up with schoolwork, they may become frustrated, display negative behaviors, and have feelings of inadequacy. This type of strain sets your child up to fall behind or struggle in school. There could be a noticeable gap in your child’s school performance leading to a dislike of school. Or, they could be a “silent struggler” who puts in 10x the effort needed to complete the same tasks as their peers but never complain.
Your child is telling you the answer to this question right now, but most likely not with words. They are telling you through their actions, behaviors, and performance levels in school or at home. Your child’s teacher may also see signs of a struggle in the classroom.
Challenges with developmental skills do not necessarily mean that your child is struggling with their cognitive ability (the ability to process thoughts). It merely means that their body may be creating roadblocks for them to learn as efficiently as possible.
Many gifted children experience these challenges too. The difference is, they get overlooked because their academic performance successfully masks their developmental challenges, so they are viewed as “quirky” or “clumsy” rather than lacking skills.
The great news is that once we know what developmental barriers are preventing your child from succeeding, we can work to re-wire their brain. Sensory-motor skills should be acquired during the ordinary course of development. However, if they are not, and your child is grappling with some or all these sensory-motor skill issues, the first step is to identify your child’s specific challenge.
Once we know the challenge, we will create an action plan to eliminate the developmental barriers your child struggles with today. When your child struggles with the same issues repeatedly, their brain will trigger the same response each time. Triggering the same response keeps the undesired behavior in place.
In the beginning, developing the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time, understanding the relationship between objects, eye tracking, to be able to make sense of what the eyes see, and to use eyes and hands together in a coordinated and efficient way, all require a lot of focused attention.
As the brain rewiring process takes place through slow and steady practice, tasks become consistently more efficient, requiring less effort. When these vital developmental skills require less effort, more attention can be given to higher levels of learning, such as writing and reading.
We will help your child build a solid foundation of developmental skills and set their body up for optimal lifelong learning.
“My son visited Scribble 2 Script once a week to improve his handwriting. During our time together, the Scribble 2 Script program greatly improved all aspects of his fine motor skills. His confidence soared, and he always had fun during his sessions. ”
~ Laura Cole
“Before we found Scribble2Script, William’s frustration with schoolwork and school, in general, had reached an all-time high. Nothing we tried at home helped and our family had become very discouraged – it seemed the more we practiced and tried to “fix” his handwriting, the worse things got.
During our Scribble 2 Script evaluation with Megan, she uncovered and explained the reasons behind his handwriting trouble, and we finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel. The Scribble 2 Script team’s demeanor with William was warm and encouraging. We watched him truly blossom during his sessions, and his confidence grew.
Every time we left, he had a smile on his face, and he felt proud of his accomplishments of that week, and that positive attitude spilled over into home, school, and even into sports. The difference this [the Scribble 2 Script] program has made in our lives is immeasurable.”
~ Sarah Kleck
“Megan and her team of dedicated and wonderful teachers have made such a difference in my 8-year-old son’s life. He is finally proud of his writing & beams when he shows me his school work now.
His skills have improved so much that he clearly has confidence that he didn’t have 6 months ago. I truly believe this is going to make his academic future so much brighter.”
~ Alison Rose