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What are Visual Perceptual Skills?

Visual perception allows us to process the visual information being sent to the brain. Our brains constantly take in and sort through excessive amounts of visual information. Once the information is sent to the brain, it needs to be organized and interpreted before any meaning is derived. Visual perceptual deficits can affect academic performance, sports, and other day-to-day activities. Each of the seven visual perceptual skills works in conjunction with one another to give meaning to our visual world. Here is an overview of visual perceptual skills and some of the difficulties experienced when a skill is deficient.

Visual Discrimination: The ability to see the similarities and differences in shape, size, color, patterns, and other details in objects and images.

  • Difficulty finding and correcting errors in schoolwork.

  • Confuse similar looking words.


Visual Discrimination

Visual Memory: The ability to store the details of visual images in short-term memory.

  • Difficulty remembering sight words.

  • Inconsistent use of upper- and lower-case letters.

  • Slower letter-by-letter copying of information.


Visual-Spatial Perception: The ability to perceive the position of an object in space in relation to the person and surroundings

  • Difficulty differentiating between “b, d, p, q.”

  • Handwriting is crooked, has inconsistent sizing, and poorly spaced.

  • Remembering left and right.


Visual-Spatial Perception

Visual Form Constancy: The ability to recognize a form is the same despite being presented as a different size, location, or orientation.

  • Difficulty remembering words when presented in a different location, different vantage points, or changes in font/size.

  • Difficulty mastering the alphabet and numbers.

Visual Form Constancy

Visual Sequential Memory: The ability to remember a series of forms in the same order.

  • Difficulty copying from the board.

  • Poor spelling skills.

  • Difficulty following multi-step instructions.

Visual Sequential Memory

Visual Figure-Ground: The ability to locate and identify objects or images in a busy visual environment or the ability to attend to a specific task without being distracted by surrounding sensory information.

  • Easily confused with too much print or visual information on a page.

  • Difficulty keeping attention on a task.

  • Difficulty scanning text for specific information.


Visual Figure-Ground

Visual Closure: The ability of the brain to fill in missing information and identify an object as if it were complete.

  • Poor reading comprehension.

  • Confuse words with similar beginnings or ends.

  • Difficulty making inferences and drawing conclusions.

Visual Closure

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