Unless we have complete vision impairment, we all take information in from our environment through our eyes. However, it is the brain, not the eyes, that processes this visual information. We cannot make sense of what we see with our eyes without the accompanying healthy functioning of the brain and healthy communication between the eyes and brain. Normal visual processing requires a complex system of neurological activity to be developed and functioning properly.
Many children lack good visual processing skills. Because of a delay in development or disorder, their vision system has trouble computing visual input. They can’t make sense of what they see as easily as their peers who have a properly functioning vision system. Consequently, their performance of everyday tasks such as reading, memorizing, and studying tends to be slower than normal and their abilities in these areas can fall below average.
At the Visual Learning Center in Olney, MD, our visual processing therapy program specifically works on areas of processing speed and accuracy, selective concentration, visual memory, letter reversals, visual-motor integration and speed, and visualization.
Visual processing speed and accuracy involves reading words, sentences, and numbers quickly and accurately. Because students with visual processing problems tend to work slowly, vision therapy includes procedures designed to increase the speed with which they are able to process information, with greater precision.
Selective concentration requires a child to stay on a visual task, even with distractions present. During visual processing therapy, the child practices tasks repeatedly while also enduring distractions. This practice trains the visual processing system to improve and become more focused.
Visual memory refers to the ability to accurately remember what is only seen for a short period of time. In visual therapy, children complete activities created to enhance their memory so they can recall the visual information they take in more readily.
When children struggle with letter reversals, they confuse similarly shaped letters such as b, d, p and q. If this is a problem for your child, visual processing therapy will help them better recognize and correctly write the letters they have been reversing.
Another difficulty children with visual processing problems sometimes face is trouble with visual-motor integration and speed. In other words, their eye-hand coordination may be delayed or awkward. Through vision therapy, children’s visual-motor integration can improve significantly, which can improve confidence and performance in sports, physical activities, handwriting and social interaction.
Healthy visual processing also requires the ability to visualize. Visualization is the process of creating a mental picture in the mind that is used to solve a problem. Learning and school performance often requires problem solving, so vision therapy works to improve a child’s ability to visualize.
Visual processing skills are required for learning and functioning normally in everyday life. If your child has problems with visual processing, school, athletics, and even social interaction can be difficult. An intense visual processing therapy program can result in remarkable improvement in the areas of processing speed and accuracy, selective concentration, visual memory, letter reversals, visual-motor integration and speed, or visualization in a relatively short period of time.