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Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Visual perception is the process we use to gather visual information from the environment and the ability to organize, understand and give it meaning. Visual information is taken in from one’s surroundings and integrated with all other senses. This process can be done while incorporating all the integrated information with other things such as past experiences, motivation and development. It is essential to have these skills work together to further develop learning.


The following areas make up visual information processing: visual discrimination, visual memory, visual sequential memory, visual spatial relationships, visual closure, visual figure ground and visual closure. All of these are important when it comes to reading and understanding, recognizing the words, and remembering what was read.


Visual Discrimination is the ability to discriminate differences and likeness in images such as shape, size, color, pattern, form and position. It is important in order to distinguish between different letters and words while reading and writing.


Visual Memory is the ability to recall, identify, or reproduce previous visual information.


Visual Sequential Memory is the ability to view and then recall a sequence of letters, numbers or objects in the order they were originally presented. This is a vital skill for successful recall of spelling words, or remembering directions in order.


Visual Spatial Relationships are skills we use to understand directional concepts to organize visual space. One must be aware of the placement and orientation of a target in relation to one’s own body or another target. This skill must be present to effectively place and move our bodies in space.


Visual Figure Ground is the ability to perceive a form visually, and then be able to find this form hidden in a cluttered picture. Difficulty in this skill can lead to poor organization/planning or being overwhelmed in a busy, crowded place.


Visual Closure is the ability to recognize an image or object when part of that image or object is missing. It also allows quick recognition of differences in similar words that enable reading fluency. When this is difficult it can cause confusion of similar words or objects, and makes completing tasks slower.


There are several activities and games that can help build upon these skills. The following are examples of activities: Multi-Matrix, SET, Spot It, Hidden Pictures, Spot the difference, Q-bitz, Acuity, puzzles, memory, Traffic Jam, IQ twist, Kanoodle, Tricky Fingers, geo boards, parquetry blocks, Highlights hidden pics,  and dot to dot.


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