Hand Eye Coordination (Visual Motor Integration)

Visual motor integration (VMI) is the degree to which visual perception and finger-hand movements are well coordinated.  You might have heard of it as hand eye coordination.  These skills allow us to use our eyes and hands in an efficient way.  VMI skills are prerequisite skills for children to be able to complete functional and academic tasks such as:

  • Colouring within the lines
  • Ties their shoes
  • Throw and catch a tennis ball
  • Use cutlery
  • Copying from the board
  • Scissor skills

VMI skills are especially important for handwriting.  They allow children to look at, remember and perform the movements to copy shapes and letters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell whether my child has difficulty with visual motor integration skills?

It is important to remember that every person is individual and develops uniquely.  The following table gives general information regarding milestones to help identify whether you may need a referral to an Occupational Therapist.

21 MONTHS – 2 YEARS

  • Can stack 6-8 blocks
  • Points to objects in a book
  • Points to objects in the distance

2 YEARS – 3 YEARS

  • Can stack 8 – 10 blocks
  • Copies horizontal and vertical lines, and circles
  • Can complete simple puzzles

3 YEARS – 5 YEARS

  • Can copy letters
  • Begins to colour in the lines
  • Recognises letters of the alphabet
  • Builds a pyramid with blocks

Who can work with a person who has difficulty with visual motor integration skills?

Occupational Therapists help children with their visual motor integration skills.  An Occupation Therapist can conduct formal assessment to determine whether the person i shaving difficulty with their visual motor integration skills.  An Occupational Therapist also works with people to address these difficulties through therapy.

Good visual motor integration requires accurate information from a person’s eyes to their brain.  An Occupational Therapist may refer you to an optometrist or behavioural optometrist to gather further information.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s visual motor integration skills, it may be beneficial to book in with an Occupational Therapist to gather some further information.  There is a team of Occupational Therapists at Therapy Alliance Group who can assist your family!

We have Occupational Therapy appointments available in BeenleighChinchilla, and Toowoomba.  We also do consults via video conference with TeleTAGBook a phone consult now to discuss your specific therapy needs!




About the Author



Alicia Tickell
Occupational Therapist

Alicia is a qualified Occupational Therapist who has experience working in schools, hospitals and an overseas community development setting in Vanuatu which have all provided a great foundation for her career with Therapy Alliance Group. Alicia graduated from The Australian Catholic University with an honours research degree and has a special interest in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Alicia is very passionate about being an evidence-based occupational therapist who advocates for, and works collaboratively with children and their families to equip them with the strategies they need to participate in meaningful life activities. Things I like: Spending time with family and friends, food, binge watching TV series, exercise, dogs and travel. Things I don’t like: Rocket lettuce and not seeing my family and friends for a long time. Favourite colour: Pink.

“The cold never bothered me anyway”            – Elsa


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