Activities to strengthen Perceptual Reasoning
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My son's scores for the PRI (last two Wechsler IQ tests) have always
been high. His last PRI was 119. For the block subtest and the Picture
Concepts my son scored above average and for the Matrix Reasoning he
receive an average score.
Can you suggest any games or activities that we can do with my son to
encourage, strengthen and maintain this type of reasoning? Thank you.
A: There is little information here (age of
child, other scores and detailed scores) so I would give a rough
indication of what can be done. High PRI scores indicate high visual
perception and organization, and reasoning with visually presented
nonverbal material to solve the types of problems which are usually not
taught in schools. Block design also requires visual-motor coordination
and the ability to apply all skills in a quick, efficient manner. High
scores reflect both accurate and very quick responses.
In Matrix Reasoning the child is presented with a partially filled grid
and asked to select the item that properly completes the matrix. This
part measures fluid reasoning. which describes a child's skill at
grasping nonverbal concepts (i.e., shapes, designs, visuospatial
patterns) such that she or he can identify missing or incorrect aspects
of those concepts and complete or correct them. This skill is used in
many activities where one must identify objects, locations, landmarks,
and the like by shape. Fluid intelligence also is used in tasks where
one must design a thing (e.g., parts of a device) to be able to fulfill
An average to low score on Matrix Reasoning may demonstrate mild
problems processing visual stimuli and some difficulties with nonverbal
To increase PRI, general teaching methods that consist of making
visual-motor tasks easier for the child should be used. For e.g., use of
large print, large copy work, minimizing distracting influences, guides
for visual-motor work, gross-motor exercises, and others can be used.
For finer coordination, activities can be gradually introduced when the
child progresses (e.g., physical education or gymnastics).
These children also benefit from auditory teaching methods. If the child
is young, activities that involve identifying and recognizing letters is
essential (e.g., matching letters or whole words). The child will also
benefit from finding and outlining forms, pictures, and even letters
that are hidden in a large picture. Puzzles (with various designs,
letters, pictures, words, etc) are also very helpful. Make sure that
left-to-right orientation should be reinforced by aiming at a target
moving from left to right. Structured art and free drawing such as
tracing, copying, finger painting, coloring, and other similar
activities are beneficial as well.
Having said that, it is crucial that your child sees some success since
difficult academic tasks may give the child a sense of failure and
discouragement. Allow for some somewhat messy and disorganized work with
help on how to progress each time. Hope the above helps.