How the vestibular system effects reading and writing might not be something you have even considered, but it can be so important in helping your child read and write, which makes it something you need to know about.
So what is the vestibular system?
The vestibular system is an important part of the body that helps us maintain balance and spatial orientation. It is located in the inner ear and is made up of the semicircular canals, the utricle, and the saccule. The vestibular system plays a key role in our ability to move, walk, run, and engage in other physical activities.
Effects on cognitive development
However, the vestibular system is not just important for physical development. It also plays a crucial role in cognitive development, particularly in the areas of reading and writing.
When we move our bodies and engage in physical activities, the vestibular system sends signals to the brain about the position of the body in space. This helps the brain to process and interpret visual information, and to coordinate eye movements and hand-eye coordination.
This impacts reading and writing!
These skills are essential for reading and writing, as they allow us to track lines of text and accurately focus on small details such as letters and words. Children who have underdeveloped vestibular systems may struggle with these skills, leading to difficulties with reading and writing.
But there is no need to worry, as by simply understanding how the vestibular system effects reading and writing, we can actively try and create activities to help our child’s ongoing development.
Supporting our child’s vestibular development
There are several ways that parents can support their children’s vestibular development and improve their reading and writing skills:
- Encourage physical activity: Engaging in physical activities such as running, jumping, and climbing helps to stimulate the vestibular system and improve its function. Encourage your child to participate in a variety of physical activities to support their vestibular development. This sports day kit can be useful in supporting physical exercise at home or in the park.
- Practice hand-eye coordination activities: Activities such as throwing and catching a ball, or using a pair of scissors, can help to improve hand-eye coordination and strengthen the connections between the vestibular system and the visual system.
- Use multisensory learning materials: Materials such as sand, playdough, and finger paints can provide a multisensory learning experience that engages the vestibular system.
- Make reading and writing fun: Encourage your child to read and write by finding materials that they enjoy. This can help to build their confidence and improve their skills.
In conclusion, the vestibular system plays a crucial role in cognitive development, particularly in the areas of reading and writing. By encouraging physical activity, practicing hand-eye coordination activities, using multisensory learning materials, and making reading and writing fun, parents can support their children’s vestibular development and improve their reading and writing skills.