Vision Perception Skills

Vision perception is the ability to understand and process the information received by the eyes.  The occipital lobe is responsible primarily for our visual functions.  The visual association cortex within the occipital lobe is involved in higher order processing of visual information.  Weaknesses in vision perception can affect learning and processing information and affect academic areas such as reading, writing, drawing, and mathematics.  Developmental pediatricians, neuropsychologists, educational psychologists, teachers, educational therapists, and occupational therapists can often detect students with visual perception and visual tracking problems and refer to a developmental optometrist for further evaluation.

Vision Perception Skills

Visual Discrimination:

The ability to identify identical visual images. This can affect how one can visually “match” and identify objects, shapes, letters, and forms.

Visual Memory:

The ability to visually remember images. Visual memory is important for learning letters and characters. Poor visual memory may cause one to have difficulty copying sentences and diagrams from the board by forcing one to look more often.

Visual Spatial Relations:  

The ability to identify differences in direction of similar visual images. This can contribute to reversals of numbers and letters. It may also cause confusion of letters that have the same shape such as b, d, p, and q.

Visual Form Constancy:

The ability to understand that objects of varying sizes or orientations have the same meaning. For example, the following symbols all have the same meaning but appear different i.e. b, b, b. Students with weaknesses in this area may have difficulty reading print of various font styles. In addition, weaknesses in this area makes it difficult for students to perceive how geometric shapes can be rotated or altered in space, affecting their performance in mathematics and science.

Visual Sequential Memory:

The ability to remember a series of images. Poor visual sequential memory may affect how one remembers a series of numbers and letters. It may affect the ability to read and spell nonphonetic words i.e. “laugh”.

Visual Figure Ground:

The ability to attend to an image while ignoring the background. Weaknesses in this area may affect one’s ability to “concentrate” or “focus” on a word unless a book mark or line guide is used.

Visual Closure:

The ability to assemble parts of a visual image together to form a complete picture (Gesalt). Poor visual closure may cause one to perceive an object as many small pictures.  l _  may not be perceived as a single letter L.

Visual Organization/Visualization:  

Visual organization allows students to process information in their “mind’s eye”. Weak visual organization skills can affect a student’s ability to understand fractions, geometry, science, and other non-verbal concepts. Weak visualization skills can also contribute to difficulties aligning numbers when performing math, poor spacing of letters when writing, and poor performance in arts and crafts activities.

Visual Motor Integration:  

Weak visual motor integration skills cause a student to have difficulty printing, drawing, and writing. It is important to determine whether the problem is related to vision or the fine motor control of the fingers and hands.