Visual Perception

Visual Perception is how we see and interpret all of the visual information that is around us. It is a late skill to be developed and is still being developed throughout children’s primary education. Although most children develop the ability to focus visually and to make fine discriminations in visual materials as they grow, some children will take longer to develop these skills, and may need some additional help or practice.

Visual perceptual processing is very important, especially when learning. Children who have difficulty processing visual stimuli may show some of the following difficulties:

  • lack of coordination and balance (clumsy)
  • difficulty learning left and right
  • often reversing letters or numbers when writing or copying
  • difficulty with activities involving rhythm
  • not good at sports
  • does not cross the midline when doing tasks (switches objects from hand to hand)
  • does not use non dominant hand for support when writing or copying
  • rotates body when writing or copying (again to not cross the midline)
  • trouble learning the alphabet
  • trouble recognizing words
  • mistakes words with similar beginnings
  • confuses minor likenesses and differences
  • does not recognize the same word if repeated again on a page
  • trouble with remembering and writing letters and numbers
  • distractible
  • short attention span
  • problems concentrating
  • traces or touches figures
  • difficulty with understanding instructions
  • hyper or hypo activity

Because visual perception is so complicated, it is broken up into different areas, which include:

  • Visual Discrimination
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Spacial Relationships
  • Form Constancy
  • Visual Sequential Memory
  • Figure-Ground
  • Visual Closure
  • Visual Motor Integration

Over the coming weeks we will take each of these in turn, look at what it means and suggest some activities to help children practice and develop these skills.


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