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What is visual perception and how does this influence my child?
Carla Grobler

What is visual perception and how does this influence my child?

This is the ability of the brain to interpret and process what the eyes see.

This is the building blocks that a child needs for reading, writing and maths.

Visual perception and vision may influence each other but kids with poor vision don’t necessarily have poor visual perception and vice versa.

Visual perceptual skills are divided into 7 sub sections:

What does it mean when my child has impaired visual perceptual skills?

When a child struggles with visual perceptual skills this means that the brain struggles to perceive and process what the eyes see.

Signs when a child has visual perceptual difficulties


The ability to recognize the differences and similarities between objects/number/letters/pictures


The skills to recognize previously seen objects/numbers/letters/pictures – especially detail


The ability to recognize important/relevant letters/numbers/objects/pictures and disregard irrelevant/unimportant information – thus locating a single object/word/number within a complex background

Form constancy:

The ability to recognize objects/numbers/letters/pictures when it’s presented in a different format/context thus mentally visualizing the manipulation of object e.g. reversed, upside-down, different font/capital letter vs lower case letter

Sequential memory:

The ability to remember a series of objects/numbers/letters/pictures – very important for spelling

Spatial relations and position in space:

The ability to recognize the position of an object/letter/number in relations to

itself/the environment/another letter/object/number.

This skills also has a big influence on how a child manipulates himself in his

environment e.g. go stand in front of the fountain.

Knowing the difference between left/right influences spatial relations and

vice versa.

Analysis and synthesis (closure):

This is the ability to take parts of objects/numbers/letters/pictures and make

a whole object/number/word/sentence/picture or knowing what an object

is by when only seeing parts of it e.g. building puzzles; c-a-t makes the word cat;

finds it difficult to read words that they have to spell

Activities that can improve visual perceptual skills

If you suspect that your child is struggling with his visual perceptual skills, please make an appointment with an occupational therapist for an assessment.

Carla Grobler, Occupational Therapist, 084 581 0644, carla.grobler@vodamail.co.za, www.carlagrobler.co.za   










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