Why is Visual Perception Important for Children?
- 4 January 2023
- Posted by: CDC
- Category: Parent Tips
Visual perception refers to the brain’s ability to make sense of what the eyes see.
Components of Visual Perceptual Processing
Why is visual perception important for children?
- Visual perception is necessary for reading, writing, and movement. Without it, children may find daily tasks such as completing homework, solving puzzles, or getting dressed extremely stressful. It can lead to poor self-esteem and academic or social obstacles.
- Most children are able to integrate these senses by the time they start school. This is important because approximately 75% of all classroom learning is visual.
- A child with even mild visual-perceptual difficulties will struggle with learning in the classroom and often in other areas of life.
Children with visual perceptual problem may:
- Get confused with left or right directions.
- Have poor posture during writing and reading.
- Have eye-hand coordination problems (e.g. difficulty with tying shoe laces, buttoning and unbuttoning, difficulty participating in sports activities).
- Omit, substitute, repeat, or confuse similar words.
- Have difficulty with sizing, spacing, or copying written words.
- Have difficulty following multi-stepped directions.
- Have difficulty telling time or understanding the concept of time.
- Struggle with solving puzzles.
- Reverse letters or numbers.
What can we do to help children improve their visual perceptual skills?
Activities to promote and improve visual perception:
- Memory games: Playing games such as Memory blocks, memory puzzles etc.
- Sensory activities: Use of shaving foam to write letters or use pipe cleaners to form letters and shapes (because feeling a shape can help a child visualise it). The letters can then be glued onto cards, and later the child can touch them to “feel” the shape of the letter.
- Hidden picture games in books or play ‘I-spy’ games.
- Picture drawing: Practice completing partially drawn pictures.
- Dot-to-dot worksheets or puzzles.
- Construction-type activities such as building with Lego or other blocks.
- Word search puzzles that require you to look for a series of letters.
- Copy 3-D block designs.
- Identify objects by touch: Place plastic letters into a bag, and have the child identify the letter by “feel”.
For more information and strategies, please consult our occupational therapist.