Visual Processing Disorder

Created By: Haley Lenhart

Definition: a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes

Did You Know?

~ There is much more to vision than just eyesight.

~ Things like symbols, pictures and distances are processed by the brain, not the eyes, and are understood as the visual world.

~ Visual processing issues present lifelong challenges.

~ Not only does this disorder affect a child from learning, but it also impacts a child's ability to do ordinary things like sorting socks, or playing a game of kickball.

~ There are eight types. People can have more than one type and most of these types can go undetected during vision tests.

  1. Visual discrimination issues: Kids with this type have difficulty seeing the difference between two similar letters, shapes or objects. d and b, or p and q.
  2. Visual figure-ground discrimination issues: Kids with this type may not be able to pull out a shape or character from its background.
  3. Visual sequencing issues: Kids with these issues have difficulty telling the order of symbols, words or images. They may struggle to write answers on a separate sheet or skip lines when reading.
  4. Visual-motor processing issues: Kids with these issues have difficulty using feedback from the eyes to coordinate the movement of other parts of the body.
  5. Long- or short-term visual memory issues: Kids with either type have difficulty recalling what they’ve seen.
  6. Visual-spatial issues: Kids with these issues have difficulty telling where objects are in space. That includes how far things are from them and from each other. It also includes objects and characters described on paper or in a spoken narrative. Kids may also have a tough time reading maps and judging time.
  7. Visual closure issues: Kids with these issues have difficulty identifying an object when only parts are visible. They may not recognize a truck if it’s missing wheels. Or a person in a drawing that is missing a facial feature. Kids may also have great difficulty with spelling because they can’t recognize a word if a letter is missing.
  8. Letter and symbol reversal issues: Kids with these issues switch letters or numbers when writing. Or make letter substitutions when reading after age 7. They also have trouble with letter formation that affects reading, writing and math skills.

~ Academic, emotional, and life skills are all affected by the visual processing disorder.

How Common?

It is not clear how much children actually have this disorder, but the symptoms often occur among kids with learning issues, like dyslexia.

Resources

Visual and Auditory Processing Disorders. (2015, January 1). Retrieved January 20, 2015, from http://www.ldonline.org/article/6390

Understanding Visual Processing Issues. (2014, April 6). Retrieved January 20, 2015, from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-i...

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