The State University of New York (SUNY) Battery is a series of tests that evaluate the development of visual-motor hierarchy. A toddler will reply on the motor sense for playing, navigating and learning. However, as a child matures, the visual sense should dominate over the motor sense. If there is a failure of the visual system’s hierachical dominance to occur, this may result in appropriate development of reading skills.
(Graph take from Mozlin, S. The Use of Behavioral Parameters for a Visual Perceptual Evaluation. J Behav Optom.1995; 5:115-120.)
For instance, a child whose visual sense is not properly developed may move his/her head or body when reading across the page. However, this makes reading slow; our eye muscles move much more quickly and efficiently than our neck muscles. Another instance is where a child, older than 7-8 years old, relies on his/her finger to prevent loosing place when reading. Using our finger makes reading slower when compared to moving our eyes independently. Furthermore, when the finger and hand is on the page, it can prevent one’s ability to scan ahead.
The SUNY Battery is ideal for 3-6 years old who are showing symptoms of motor development delay and requiring occupational therapy. Patients who receive Renfrew Educational Services, Early Childhood Service or Program Unit Funding can also benefit. If a deficit is found, vision therapy can be implemented to improve proper visual-motor development.