In order to learn effectively, your child must accurately interpret what they are seeing.

Good vision goes beyond seeing 20/20. As your child grows, their visual perceptual processing skills develop gradually as well.

Your child must learn how to not only “see” the world, but “understand” the world that is around them by processing the information that is sent to the brain from the eyes.

Below are 6 developmental vision information processing skills your child needs in order to have good visual function.

Ocular Motor Skills

Having good ocular motor skills means having the ability to control where you aim your eyes (such as the skill required for reading) so that you don’t lose your place. These skills also make sure your eyes can follow a moving target smoothly and are able to make accurate eye jumps from one point to another. Read more »

Visual Motor Skills

The eye “sees” and then “tells” the body what to do.

Good visual motor integration helps with balance, coordination and movement. Understanding what we see allows us to trust the body movement that follows and help us learn new skills quickly such as learning a new sport or riding a bicycle.

Signs and Symptoms of Visual Motor Integration Difficulties Include…

  • Difficulty copying from the chalkboard
  • Poor spacing and organisation of written work
  • Misalignment of numbers in columns when doing maths problems
  • Poor written spelling than oral spelling
  • Poor posture when writing
  • Exaggerated paper rotation when writing
  • Poor pencil grip

What Are Some of the Tests to Measure Visual Motor Integration?

  • Test of Visual Motor Integration (Beery)
  • Sentence Copy Test (Wold)

Visual Analysis Skills

Visual analysis skills are the active processes for “locating, selecting, extracting, analysing, recalling and manipulating” relevant information in the visual environment.

Visual analysis includes subsets of visual discrimination, visual figure-ground perception, visual closure, visual memory and visualisation. These visual skills helps differentiate small differences in letters (k/r, m/n), numbers and words, to see and understand the resulting meaning from the words, visualise a story, and be able to see the “bigger picture” without getting lost in the details. Difficulties will show up in spelling, comprehension and in expressing ideas.

Subsets of visual analysis skills (which are necessary in the written language) include:

  • Visual Discrimination – the ability to recognise likeness and differences. In reading, this skill helps children distinguish between similarly spelled words, such as then/when.
  • Visual Memory – the ability to remember for immediate recall the characteristics of a given object or form. This skill helps children remember what they read and see by adequately processing information through their short-term memory. Children with poor visual memory may struggle with recall and comprehension. They often subvocalize, or softly whisper to themselves so that they can “hear” the words. They may have difficulty recognising a word even though they had already seen it many times before. They may also take longer copying text because they can only copy a small amount at a time.
  • Visual Sequential Memory – the ability to remember forms or characters in correct order. This skill is particularly important in spelling and is an essential skill for phonetic decoding of words.
  • Visual Form Constancy –  the ability to mentally manipulate forms and visualise the resulting outcomes. This skill helps children distinguish differences in size, shape, and orientation.
  • Visual Closure – the ability to visualise a complete image when given incomplete information or a partial picture. This skill helps children read and comprehend quickly; their eyes don’t have to individually process every letter in every word for them to quickly recognise the word by sight.
  • Visual Figure Ground – the ability to perceive and locate an object within a busy background without getting confused by the surrounding images. This skill keeps children from getting lost in details. Children with poor figure-ground can become easily confused with too much print on the page, affecting their concentration and attention. They may also have difficulty scanning text in a book or at a whiteboard to locate specific information.

Signs and Symptoms of Visual Analysis Skills Difficulties Include…

  • Delayed learning of the alphabet (letter identification)
  • Poor automatic recognition of words (sight word vocabulary)
  • Difficulty completing basic maths
  • Confusion between similar-looking words
  • Difficulty spelling non regular words
  • Difficulty with classifications of objects on the basis of their visual attributes

What Are Some of the Tests That Can Measure Visual Analysis Skills?

  • Test of Visual Perceptual Skills – non-motor (Gardiner)
  • Motor-Free Vision Perception Test (Carlaouso & Hamill)
  • Grooved Pegboard
  • Split Formboards – 6 figure
  • Test of Visual Analysis Skills (Rosner)
  • Munroe Visual Memory
  • Marcus Test of Visual Memory (Getman, Henderson)
  • Marcus Test of Visual Manipulation (Getman, Henderson)

Visual Spatial Skills

Visual spatial orientation skills helps us with letter reversals. Some people considered letter reversals after age 7 to be a symptom of dyslexia. While this can be true, the most common cause of reversals in older children is a lack of visual spatial development.

Visual spatial orientation skills is the awareness of one’s left and right side, their position in space in relation to other objects as well as the location of objects relative to each other. This skill is normally developed through the child’s interaction with their environment and can be divided into bilateral integration, laterality and directionality.

  • Bilateral integration is the awareness of both sides of the body and being able to use both sides separately and together in unilateral and bilateral combinations.
  • Laterality is the knowledge of one’s internal representation of their right and left.
  • Directionality is their external understanding of other people/objects right and left.

Visual spatial skills are used in the classroom as soon as the child starts school. Information presented usually has a direction—that is, they start from one side for reading and writing and work in the same direction (left to right).  When they write in a book—it’s also top to bottom.

The letters and words they learn can have different orientations (b,d,p,q, was/saw) making it difficult for them to discriminate the differences. A smart board or black board is traditionally used to present information, and spatial skills are used to find their place or the required information.

Signs and Symptoms of Visual Spatial Orientation Skills Difficulty Include…

  • Delayed development of gross motor skills
  • Decreased coordination of balance and ball-playing skills
  • Confusion of right and left
  • Letter reversal errors when writing or reading
  • Inconsistent hand dominance (right-hand dominant or left-hand dominant)
  • Difficulty in tasks requiring crossing the midline

What Are Some of the Tests That Can Measure Visual Spatial Skills?

  • Piaget Left/Right Awareness Test
  • Gardiner Reversals Frequency Test
  • Jordan Left/Right Reversal Test

Visual Auditory Skills

What is visual auditory integration?

This is the ability to recognise written symbols as a spoken word and, hence, is a necessary skill for learning letters and words.

The visual and auditory systems work separately and in combination with each other and with the other sensory systems to inform and guide the body’s internal and external actions.

The visual and auditory sensory systems each provide the body access to unique forms of stimulus input. However, they also work together to coordinate “seeing-hearing” information and with each of the other sensory systems to inform and prioritize input for the central nervous system to guide and direct action in response to ever-changing conditions.

When visual and auditory skills integrate well, the result is improved reflex function which in turn can improve behavioural and emotional regulation and enhance learning.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Auditory Visual Integration Difficulties Include…

    • Difficulty with sound-symbol associations
    • Difficulty with spelling
    • Slow reading

What Are Some of the Tests to Measure Auditory Visual Integration?

  • Auditory Visual Integration Test (Birch-Belmont)
  • Test of Auditory Analysis Skills (Rosner)
  • Test of Auditory Processing Skills

Visual Memory

Visual Memory is the ability to look at and remember or recall information such as pictures, words and objects. Visual memory is vital in the development of handwriting, reading and other functional tasks in school and in everyday life.

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Visual Memory May Include…

  • Difficulty with sight words and spelling skill
  • Taking longer to copy off the board
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty remembering what they’ve read

What Are Some of the Tests That Can Measure Visual Memory Skills?

  • Motor Free Vision Perception Test (MVPT)
  • Test of Visual Perception Skills (Gardner)
  • Visual Span and Tachistoscope
  • Getman Henderson Marcus Visual Recall test

Your child’s vision deserves the best care. Book a Behavioural Optometry Test Today.

Don’t be contented with just 20/20 Vision. Make sure your kids’ eyes work as they should for optimal learning! Book a Behavioural Optometry Test Today.

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