It’s no surprise that visual-perceptual delays are common in children with Sensory Intergration dysfunction. Visual-perceptual skill refers to a person’s ability to interpret, analyze, and give meaning to what he sees. Normally more than 70 percent of classroom “underachievers” have problems processing visual information, even if they have 20/20 eyesight.
Visual attention lets a child pay attention to what she is doing while blocking out extraneous stimuli. A child who is easily distracted has trouble sustaining visual attention. When reading, a child may feel compelled to look at visual stimuli around him- even visually scanning around all the words on the page rather than just focusing on the words he is currently reading. Some kids have trouble shifting their visual attention, getting so absorbed in what they are looking at that they don’t notice anything else happening around them. A visually hyporesponsive child may have problems noticing a visual stimulus or sustaining visual interest, tiring quickly. A child who is not looking and visually attending misses out on vital developmental opportunities. However, it should be noted that many children are soaking in information all the time through their other senses, even if they aren’t looking (or don’t appear to be listening).
Visual discrimination lets your child identify distinct features of objects such as color, shape, size, and orientation, and helps her match and categorize objects. As she grows, she can perceive the difference between a triangle and a circle, or B and b. The child with visual discrimination problems may have trouble recognizing faces, or noticing the difference between a rectangle and a square.
Visual memory lets your child remember things he has seen, a skill that’s essential for imitating new gestures and movements, sequencing writing and spelling tasks, recognizing words and people, and more. With a poor visual memory, he may have excellent memory for life experiences rather than factual information, and may have difficulty relating new visual information to what he already knows.
Figure ground lets your child differentiate between foreground and background, which is essential for attending to important visual stimuli while ignoring distracting surrounding. This skill lets him find his favorite dump truck in a box full of toys and keep his eyes on the teacher in a busy classroom. The child with figure-ground difficulty may have trouble reading because he can’t select specific words on a page to read.
Visual closure lets your child use visual clues to recognize objects without seeing the entire image. This skill lets him find lunchbox if it’s partially hidden behind a milk carton and recognize a complete word if he has only seen a part of that word (proficient readers do not have to look at every letter).
Form constancy lets you child perceive things as the same regardless of environment, position, size, and other details. When she’s younger, she learns that a spoon is a spoon whether it’s upside down, turned sideways, a silver tablespoon, or a plastic toy spoon. In school, she learns that the letter S is an S whether it’s handwritten or typed, in print or cursive, or sideways.
Laterality, directionality, and spatial vision: Laterality lets your child differentiate between right and left sides of his own body. Directionality lets him perceive the right and left side of external objects. Both are essential to spatial vision, which tells him how an object is positioned in space. He learns that his right hand goes into the left sleeve of his jacket when it is facing him. When he is school-age, he learns that the lowercase b has a line on the left side, and the d has a line on the right side. A child with poor spatial vision may have difficulty playing with toys learning to climb stairs and catch a ball (both require depth perception), and developing many self-care tasks. He may have persistent letter reversals (beyond age eight), be confused about letter or number sequences, have trouble understanding directional words such as up, down, in, out, under, and over, and have poor topographical orientation and become easily lost.
Your child also needs to develop her visual-motor integration skills. Her eyes and body must work together to accomplish many developmental tasks, from stringing beads to catching a ball. Also referred to as eye-hand coordination skills, visual-motor integration is the term used for the interaction of motor skills, visual skills, and visual-perceptual skills.
We understand that you might have a number of questions; especially if this is the first time you are hearing that you may have a vision problem. Please feel free to call our office with your questions. Phone 03- 2110 3967 or Suntime.firstname.lastname@example.org
Book title: Raising A Sensory Smart Child
Author: Lindsey Biel, Nancy Peske
Page 178 – 180