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Dyspraxia research at Liverpool Hope shared with the North West

quiet eye 150x150 Wednesday 26 August 2015

A research project which uses gaze-training techniques normally used by elite athletes to help children with Dyspraxia was featured on Granada Reports.  

Dyspraxia (otherwise known as Developmental Coordination Disorder or DCD), affects around 6-12% of primary aged children in the UK, severely impairing their ability to perform everyday tasks such as tying shoelaces, or safely crossing a road. 

Researchers from Liverpool Hope University have developed a new eye training programme that can help improve the motor skills of children with the condition, by training what is termed the ‘quiet eye’.

The ‘quiet eye’ is the final visual fixation on a target that takes place immediately before a final movement when performing a skill. Examples include an archer's final gaze at the target before releasing the arrow, or when a person tracks a ball coming towards them with their eyes before they perform the grasping action of a catch.

Quiet Eye Training (QET) has been investigated in sportsmen and women, but this is the first time that it has been used to help children with Dyspraxia. 

The new methods that they have developed encourage children with dyspraxia to lengthen their ‘quiet eye’ period through a steady gaze on a target before beginning the most critical part of a movement. Children from across the north west have taken part in six weeks of fun movement sessions designed to help train the eye. 

In an earlier study, the researchers found that by using these new training methods for just a single one hour session, there were significant changes in the children’s catching technique that remained evident a further six weeks after the session.

The team at Liverpool Hope University includes Human Movement Scientists (Dr Greg Wood & Dr Charlotte Miles), a Sport & Exercise Biomechanics expert (Dr Ginny Coyles) and a medical doctor who specialises in Physiology (Dr Omid Alizadehkhaiyat). 

 Watch the Granada Reports Dyspraxia story here     

Dyspraxia Research at Liverpool Hope facebook group 

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