Do you know what visuospatial skills are, why are they important, or how can they be improved? Today, we explain this cognitive function and introduce 7 exercises for the rehabilitation of visuospatial skills in adults and children.
What are visuospatial skills?
Visuospatial skill is the ability to represent, analyze, and mentally manipulate objects.
There are two important concepts relating to visuospatial skills:
- Spatial relationsto represent and mentally manipulate two-dimensional objects.
- Spatial visualization: the ability to represent and mentally manipulate three-dimensional objects.
Why are visuospatial skills important?
Visuospatial skills are very useful in everyday life. Thanks to them, we can estimate the distance between two objects and create mental maps to get to a specific location. Visuospatial skills are essential when it comes to parking a car as they help us monitor whether we have enough space or not.
7 Exercises for the rehabilitation of visuospatial skills
Stop the Ball
“Stop the ball” consists of estimating the exact moment in which the ball passes a specific point. This activity is oriented towards training spatial relations. Let’s see an example: the traffic light is green and we need to cross the street, but the traffic light will be turning red in five seconds. Will we have enough time to cross? This common scenario can cause insecurity if we have difficulty calculating distance and speed. We can train this with “Stop the ball”.
Apart from spatial relations, this exercise also targets inhibition, planning, and processing speed. It is also available for kids under the name “Pit Stop”. In this game, children must estimate the exact moment to make a pit stop.
This activity consists of visualizing what a series of cubes would look like if some of them were moved. Spatial visualization and planning are particularly trained.
This task is very useful for people with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. If you would like to see more exercises for people with Parkinson’s, click here.
This is an activity for children that takes place in outer space. The kids must go from planet to planet until reaching their destination. This exercise is designed for the rehabilitation of visuospatial skills in children. It is also ideal for training sustained attention, inhibition, planning, and processing speed.
The Mysterious Garden
“The Mysterious Garden” is a new exercise for the rehabilitation of visuospatial skills. In this activity, children must create an exact replica of a garden filled with plants and animals. To do so, kids must fill their own garden with flowers and animals by clicking exactly on the same spot just like in the model. This exercise especially targets spatial relations.
This exercise for the rehabilitation of visuospatial skills in adults aims at forming the given angle according to the given reference line. To do this, clients must pay close attention to the position of the lines in the model and click the angle in the middle image that, along with the one in green, best represents the correct angle.
By practicing this activity, adults train two cognitive functions in particular: Spatial relations and hemineglect.
Set the Clock
In “Set the clock”, clients must set the clock to match specific times by moving the clock hands. This exercise is ideal for training spatial relations.
This activity consists of positioning a specific number on a number line based on the given references. This exercise is an excellent choice for training spatial relations, hemineglect, working memory, and reasoning.