VISUAL PROCESSING PROBLEMS
Visual processing is how you use what you see. The ability to analyze and interpret visual information is an important aspect of vision, particularly for children in elementary school.
Just because a child can see clearly and comfortably does not guarantee he or she will be able to make use of the incoming information. A child can see a clear picture (or word or number) without understanding what the picture means.
Below is a list of the main visual processing problems. Click on any one to learn more about it.
LATERALITY AND DIRECTIONALITY
This is the awareness of right and left, which allows the child to differentiate letter and numbers that are similar in shape but only differ in direction. Confusion in this area may result in reversals of letters (example: “b” and “d”), words (example: “on” and “no”), and shapes. The child may also have difficulties distinguishing right from left.
VISUAL FORM PERCEPTION
This skill allows the child to be aware of specific forms (such as shapes or letters), so that he or she can identify these forms in words or complicated pictures. Problems in this area may result in confusing similar beginnings, endings, and even entire words.
This skill allows the child to remember what he or she sees. Dysfunctions in this area may cause prolonged time with copying assignments, difficulty recognizing the same word on the next page, and difficulty retaining what is seen or read.
VISUAL MOTOR INTEGRATION
A child's ability to physically respond to what she or he sees is essential to performing all sorts of tasks, from copying a diagram off the board to kicking a soccer ball. To do these things, the child has to be able to analyze the information that is coming in through the eyes, and then translate this information to the body. Deficiencies in this area may make handwriting more difficult because of poor spacing, an inability to stay on the line, and excessive erasing. The child’s ability to complete written work within an allotted period of time may also be affected.
VISUAL PROCESSING SPEED
The amount of time it takes the child to analyze and interpret visual information. Slow visual processing speed can interfere with how easily and smoothly the child can read and can also cause difficulty copying from the board and completing written assignments.