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Fun-filled game of the day: Guess the CSE chairperson's intent!

Posted Jul 28 2009 12:12am
Why would a CSE chairperson who has worked in the field for over 20 years suddenly want more information on the Beery VMI?? This chairperson has seen this assessment used hundreds of other times... so why more information now??

Inquiring therapists want to know.


re: Johnny XXX

To Whom it May Concern:

At the request of the district CSE Chairperson, here is additional information regarding Johnny's performance on the Beery VMI. Quite honestly this is an unusual request as this test is perhaps the most commonly used assessment in school-based occupational therapy and I do not understand why special explanations are required for this child. I am hopeful that this information will help to get an appropriate plan for this child into place.

The Beery Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration 5th Edition is a widely respected assessment tool that is backed by decades of research and clinical use. The Beery VMI screens for visual-motor deficits that can lead to learning, neuropsychological, and behavior problems. The assessment is commonly used by occupational therapists as part of an overall evaluation for school-related performance difficulties.

The Beery VMI helps assess the extent to which individuals can integrate their visual and motor abilities. The tests present drawings of geometric forms arranged in order of increasing difficulty that the individual is asked to copy. The Beery VMI series also provides supplemental Visual Perception and Motor Coordination tests to help compare an individual's test results with relatively pure visual and motor performances. (One or both of the supplemental tests may be used.) The purposes of these additional tests is to allow for a statistical comparison of results from all three tests.

Many therapists use the Motor Free Test of Visual Perception 3rd Edition instead of the Perception component of the VMI. As stated above, the comparison results are helpful to determine if a child's writing difficulties are perceptual or motor based.

In the instant case, the child scored a standard score of 137 on the perceptually oriented MVPT-3 and a standard score of 78 on the Beery VMI. This represents a 59 point difference - almost 4 standard deviations of discrepancy between the scores. This indicates that the child has advanced perceptual abilities but has severe disabilities in operationalizing this perceptual skill into the motor act of writing. This discrepant performance was already clearly spelled out in the child's recent OT evaluation that is being questioned.

As corroborating evidence, the child has extremely poor organizational skills and his writing is only marginally legible.

If any additional information is required please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR
Occupational Therapist
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