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An educational company providing resources for teachers, therapists, and other support staff focusing on collaboration and intervention strategies for preschool and school age students.

Focus Moves Products

Integrated Motor Activities Screening (available only through online purchase)


Integrated Motor Activities Screening (available only through online purchase)

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Organization of the Screening

IMAS consists of unscored observation items and scored performance items. Observation items are interspersed in the scored portion of the screening to facilitate recording behavioral observations and to enhance the interpretation of a child's performance.

Clinical experience indicates that test scores together with anecdotal notations significantly improve the quality of diagnostic results. Unfortunately, there frequently is not time to make detailed notes when large numbers of children have to be screened; many times the need to screen large numbers of children seems to take precedence over the quality of each individual screening. Therefore, the test form is designed so you can indicate key observations without a significant amount of writing. Phrases describing common behaviors are included in the observation sections and follow each scored section. Check any behaviors that apply to a particular child. Space also has been provided for written comments.


Eye Control - This section tests the child's ability to track objects both horizontally and vertically, a frequent cause of learning problems.

Dominance - This section determines a child's eye, hand, and foot preference. Whether a child has established dominance or has a mixed dominance is identified early in the testing session because it may influence the child's performance on scored sections of the test.

Body Awareness - These activities help establish rapport with the child, and they also have educational implications. By locating specific body parts, the child is required to sort out those parts and show development of a body schema (awareness of a postural model of the body). An adequately developed body schema provides the child with a foundation for dealing with more complex perceptual-motor experiences.

Posture and Muscle Tone - This set of observation asssists in determining whether the child's posture, muscle tone, and movement patterns are developing normally. The segments of the child's body should align one on top of the other. If the child is standing sideways to the viewer, one should be able to draw an imaginary vertical line up the child's body, through the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and head. If one segment is out of line, other segments will need to compensate, thus distorting the child's entire kinesthesia, or internal awareness, which lays the foundation for muscle tone and movement problems. Many times, this is the underlying cause of early attention problems.

Behavior Patterns -  Includes a checklist of behaviors that might interfere with the screening results.

Description of Scored Sections

Section I: Auditory-Visual-Motor

Purpose: This section evaluates a child's ability to discriminate and sequence auditory-visual stimuli. The child is required to differentiate two sound acts, tap and clap, and to recall a sequence of claps and taps. The section begins with single patterns and progresses to double patterns with varied rhythms. These activities require progressively more complex integration processes.

Educational implications: Children require three important education-related skills to complete this section of the test: the ability to attend to and discriminate sounds, to remember auditory information, and to coordinate muscle activities in a specific temporal sequence.
    1.    Attention to auditory-visual stimuli and sound discrimination are necessary for understanding and developing oral language. Children need to differentiate speech sounds from background noise, to hear parts of words and draw correct inferences about the total context, and to discriminate among competing educational stimuli (such as teacher comments and audio-visual materials).
    2.    The ability to hold two or more stimuli in memory, to consider their relationship, and to respond to them are the essential components of short-term memory. These skills are important in following verbal directions, learning rhymes and songs, repeating story sequences, and learning names and addresses.
    3.    The timing of muscle activities in this section requires neuromuscular control. The ability to initiate, maintain, and terminate movements involving the two sides of the body is important for gross motor and fine motor school activities that require coordination and dexterity.

Section II: Eye-Hand Coordination

Purpose: These activities evaluate several aspects of fine motor coordination. The snapping fingers task requires the child to move the thumb and middle finger while holding the wrist stationary. The rabbit wiggling its ears and rabbit saying hello tasks evaluate the ability to keep some fingers in contact while moving the remaining fingers and the wrist. In the coloring within a donut activity, the child needs good finger control to hold the crayon and good eye-hand coordination to color within the restricted area. Pencil and paper activities assess the ability to combine manual dexterity with eye-hand coordination. It is important to compare the child's manual coordination in tasks that require using tools and tasks that do not.

Educational implications: The ability to reach, grasp, and release an object is prerequisite to fine motor control in such activities as dressing and handwriting. Children require high-level eye-hand coordination to main-in appropriate pencil grasp and pressure, make written symbols a consistent size, and organize written material on a page. Children must manipulate tools, toys, and other learning objects in increasingly complex ways as they progress in school. Therefore, they must become increasingly adept in these skills.

Section III: Gross Motor

Purpose: The activities in this section evaluate how well a child controls large muscle groups in the body, including such skills as static and dynamic balance, endurance, timing muscle movements, and adjusting the body to moving objects. Balancing on each foot necessitates coordinating the two sides of the body in a static balance activity. Hopping on each foot adds the dimensions of endurance and sustained action to the skills tested in the previous item. Skipping requires a high level of neuromuscular control, timing, and spatial movement. Tossing and catching a yarn ball examines the highest level of neuromuscular control using tasks a child can comprehend. This section assesses the ability to maintain control of the body while dealing appropriately with objects that are moving in relation to the body.

Educational implications: Children must learn to deal automatically with tasks involving laterality, body image, and neuromuscular control so they can devote maximum energy to visual and auditory stimuli in the class-room environment. Inadequate development of these skills may manifest later in chronic fatigue posture, restlessness, right-left confusions, number reversals, clumsiness, excessive leaning on elbows, and low levels of endurance.