Visual Information Processing Disorders

Visual information processing is the ability to accurately extract and organize visual information from the environment.  It is the brain’s interpretation of what our eyes are seeing.

Visual perceptual skills include:

  • Visual discrimination (ability to recognize similarities and slight differences among objects)
  • Visual memory (ability to remember specific details about an object)
  • Visual spatial relationships (ability to accurately perceive locations of objects in space in relation to each other and to oneself)
  • Visual form constancy (ability to identify an object even if its size or direction is changed)
  • Visual sequential memory (ability to remember a specific sequence of forms)
  • Visual figure ground (ability to find a form in a “visually” confusing background)
  • Visual closure (ability to interpret incomplete forms)

There are many difficulties that can arise from perceptual delays.  Some of these signs can indicate a very specific problem in one area of perception.  Some indicate an overall delay in visual perception.  Common symptoms include:

  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Reversal of individual letters after second grade
  • Difficulty with geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and most mathematical concepts
  • Difficulty finding his or her place after losing it, or after looking up from the page
  • Cannot remember words after just reading them a few sentences before
  • Poor handwriting
  • Confusion of similar looking letters, numbers and words
  • Struggling to complete a thought or organizing groups of information


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