Visual Processing Problems

The ability to analyze and interpret visual input is sometimes referred to as visual processing or visual perceptional skills.
This an important aspect of vision, particularly for children in elementary school grades one through five.

Just because a child can see clearly and comfortably does not guarantee that he/she will be able to make use of incoming visual information.

Visual processing can be broken down into several areas including:

  • Visual sequential processing
  • Visual simultaneous processing
  • Literality and directionality
  • Visual motor integration
  • Auditory/Visual integration
  • Visual form recognition

These skills are important when a child is young and is learning letter and number recognition, reading and early math skills.  Visual processing skills develop in most children without the need for any special attention or intervention.  However, in some children the development of visual processing skills does not keep pace with the child’s growth in other areas.  This type of lag can lead to difficulty in the early grades.

Common Symptoms

Developmental lags in the area of visual processing can result in a variety of problems including:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Mathematical concepts
  • Map/Graph interpretation
  • Right/Left confusion
  • Visual memory
  • Discrimination words/objects
  • Poor handwriting
Treatment Options

Eyeglasses alone will not correct visual processing problems.  Rather, another form of treatment must be used.  This is referred to as VISION THERAPY.

Vision therapy is a treatment approach that involves weekly office visits.  During these visits, carefully selected and sequenced activists are given to the patient.  This treatment is designed to help the child reach his/her normal level of development in the visual processing skills that are deficient.  The success of vision therapy has been documented in scientific literature.

Will vision therapy alone eliminate the child’s learning problems?

Improvements in visual processing may not directly improve school or reading performance.  However, these deficiencies can contribute to a learning difficulty.  Therefore, improvements in visual skills can result in better learning efficiency and concentration.  In many cases, the child may require additional educational support to overcome reading, math or other academic problems.  Vision Therapy will help the child benefit from remediation.  The combination of vision therapy and educational remediation will often lead to the best result.  In some cases, counseling for emotional stress may also be helpful.

Exam / Visit Expectations

The patient will often have a series of three appointments

Comprehensive Eye Exam

A comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s level of vision, need for possible glasses correction, and a thorough evaluation of ocular health.  Additional testing of eye alignment, depth perception, and color vision are performed.

Visual Motor Skills

A comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s visual motor system’s ability to track and change visual fixation, maintain and accurately change focus, and to maintain the efficient use of two eyes functioning together.

Perceptual Evaluation

A comprehensive examination of the patient’s ability to process visual information and integrate this information with auditory and motor modalities.  Visual recognition, copying skills, visual memory, and directional organizational concepts are tested and related to academic performance.