Visual Therapy


Comments Off on Visual Therapy   |   Visual Therapy

Most people do not realize that you need the following 17 visual skills to succeed in reading, learning, sports, and life in general.

  • Eye movement
  • Simultaneously Focus at Far
  • Sustaining Focus at Far
  • Simultaneous Focus at Near
  • Sustaining Focus at Near
  • Simultaneous Alignment at Far
  • Sustaining Alignment at Far
  • Simultaneous Alignment at Near
  • Sustaining Alignment at Near
  • Central Vision (Visual Acuity)
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Depth Awareness
  • Color Perception
  • Gross Visual Motor
  • Fine Visual Motor
  • Visual Perception
  • Visual Integration

Eye-Teaming Skills

Our eyes are designed to work together to establish and maximize visual efficiency, spatial relationships, and depth perception. Muscles around the eyes work together to help them point in the same place at the same time so the two eyes perform more like one. However, just having healthy eyes and surrounding eye muscles doesn’t guarantee the eyes can work well together. Children develop eye teaming skills during preschool years, which builds the foundation of clear and single vision for objects and symbols in the tradition classroom.

If the problem is a lack of readiness, improvements should occur by the end of the first month in school. Early improvements may include reduced tension and frustration with using a pencil, and increased eye-hand coordination.

However, if the problem is visual, the child may exhibit clumsiness in the classroom and on the playground. Excessive blinking, squinting/closing an eye, and sitting in his/her desk in a funny position. The child may lose efficiency with near point tasks, fall behind when compared to the rest of the class, and prefer more auditory or listening activities to avoid visual demand.

Eye-Hand Coordination Skills

Mastering this area of performances depends on the use, practice, and integration of the eyes and hands as paired learning tools. These skills are used with drawing and writing, and developmentally come before visual interpretation of words and numbers; eye-hand coordination skills also help to discriminate the size, shape, and location of objects.

If the problem is readiness, improvements often occur a short time after a new task that uses eye-hand coordination skills is introduced. Understanding the task and hands on experience will show improvements first with general skills (gross motor), then with more specialized movements (fine motor).

Children with poor-eye-hand coordination skills may depend on touching objects to gather information about them rather than looking at them. There may be little organization with drawing or writing, and an inability to stay inside the lines coloring. When time and repetition do not yield improvements with eye-hand tasks, a careful examination is indicated.

Visual Form Perception

A child’s first “symbols” are actually pictures and images that help them hold on to a reality they experience but that is constantly changing. This skill of visual imagery allows children to relate primary experiences to words and pictures on the page. Adequate eye movement, eye teaming, and eye-hand coordination skills all provide perceptual information. Being able to retain this information is what helps with translating object size, shape, location, and distance into understanding pictures and words. Visual form perception is a derived skill used for immediate and accurate discrimination of visual similarities and differences. Visual comparison helps to direct accurate assumptions about and actions toward objects.

Problems with visual form perception often get blamed on poor memory or inattention to details. Children may be confused by what is similar and different with symbols and can often unknowingly reverse letters or letter sequences when spelling an writing. Children in kindergarten and first grade normally do not display a high degree of skill in this area. By second grade, most students have a good foundation for visual form perception.

If the problem is readiness, improvements in formation of symbols will improve with using a pencil to draw them out for clarification and practice. They may erase frequently to make something “look like it should”, suggesting they are comparing their work to the expected and making changes to improve their work. Eventually, less practice and fewer repetitions result in neater and more acceptable work.