VISUAL PERCEPTUAL DYSFUNCTION
WHAT IS A VISUAL PERCEPTUAL DYSFUNCTION?
Look at the black and white photo.
Can you tell what it is?
If you can’t tell, would “trying harder” help?
What if you were in a room full of your peers and you were one of the few who couldn't identify it?
What if you were yelled at because you weren't "trying hard enough"?
Would more pressure help? Would more practice help?
Would you wonder why everyone else can do it, but you can't?
Would you tell yourself this is dumb, and find something else to do, while everyone else goes and looks at more pictures?
The picture is in focus. If you don't know what the picture is, and you answered yes to any of those questions, you are just experiencing what kids with a visual perceptual problem go through.
And it is usually frustrating to have a vision perceptual dysfunction because more effort does not equal more success.
VISUAL PERCEPTUAL DYSFUNCTION & DYSLEXIA
WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
Dictionary Definition: Disturbance in the ability to read which is not explained by low intelligence or poor teaching. The problem spills over into many other areas like spelling and writing. Other problems linked with dyslexia include:
Left right confusion
Speech and spelling disturbances
Poor attention span
Poor concepts of space and time
Poor visual memory
Visual perception difficulty
Auditory perception difficulty
Dyslexia is sometimes divided into subtypes:
Dysphonesia: Poor sight to sound match
Difficult to teach with phonics.
Have trouble reading or sounding out new words but may be good at recognizing familiar words
Not addressed with Vision Therapy.
Dyseidesia: Poor ability to perceive words as whole units
Can be addressed with Vision Therapy.
Often from poor laterality/directionality and poor spatial abilities. Can be addressed with Vision Therapy.
THE MEANING OF VISUAL PERCEPTION
We tend to think of vision as a way to get meaning from our world (look, observe, learn) and to direct movement (in a normal sighted person, the movements we make are guided by what is seen).
Does 20/20 equal perfect vision?
Far from it. If we wanted to train a generation of deer hunters, we could just tell them to go get a free vision screening and make sure they have 20/20. But in reality, we are asking our children to do a lot more with their eyes than just see tiny objects 20 ft away.
So what is involved in vision if it is not just about 20/20 sight?
Basic Visual Skills Aside from Seeing "Clearly":
1) Eye Movement Skills: (only evaluated with Neuro Optometric Evaluation.
-Binocular Vision - Here, we are looking at whether the two eyes work together as a unit.
-Ocular Motor Skill - Here, we are looking at whether the child/patient can shift their eyes appropriately across a line of print.
2) Visual Perceptual Skill - (evaluated with Neuro Optometric Evaluation.
Here, we are looking at how a child is able to interpret what they see to get meaning.
What are some of the visual perceptual skills used in learning letters, words, and in reading?
-recognizing letters and words
-Visual Form Discrimination
-Recognizing small differences in the way things look.
-Figure Ground Analysis
-seeking out the figure from the background.
-Children with poor figure ground will suffer from “visual crowding”
-best to increase print size and spacing
-producing a mental picture
It is usually frustrating to have a vision problem because more effort does not equal more success.
-manipulating a mental picture
Considering all the visual skill that is needed for reading, don't you think it should be necessary to have all of this evaluated before anyone can label your child "Dyslexic?"
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