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Educators & Students with Learning Disabilities

Useful for elementary and secondary administrators, librarians, classroom teachers, and parents and students with Learning Disabilities


Visual Processing Disorders

This neurological disorder results in misunderstanding the information that is taken in through the eyes. It is not a vision problem involving sight or sharpness of visiion--it is the difficulty of processing the visual information by the brain. Students with Visual Processing Disorders will have these types of conflicts: 

  • Spatial relations. These students who have difficulty discriminating space will have a great deal of difficulty learning to read and perform math--not sensing the spacing between letters or sentences or columns.
  • Visual discrimination. To be able to see the similarities and differences in objects and to see an object as distinct from its background. Color, size, shape, pattern, and position of objects are confused.
  • Visual closure. To be able to identify or recognize an object when it is not entirely in view.
  • Object recognition. Many children are unable to visually recognize objects which are familiar to them, or even objects which they can recognize through their other senses, such as touch or smell. Or they are "recognized" one day and not the next.
  • Whole-part realationships. Some children are only able to see the pieces and not the whole, while others are the opposite, only see the whole picture and not the individual parts. Similarly, they may recognize letters and their sounds individually but not be able to put them together into a whole, a word. The others will only see the word and not the individual letters.
  • Interaction with other areas of developmentThis often includes the child's understanding of theirselves in space, and the distance between objects, so that their gross and fine motor skills are always "off."  They may miss their seat when attempting to sit down, run into trash cans, and generally appear clumbsy. This can interfere with virtually all areas of the child's life: social, academic, athletic, pragmatic. Difficulty withfine motor integration effects a child's writing, organization on paper, and ability to transition between a worksheet or keyboard and other necessary information which is in a book, on a number line, graph, chart, or computer screen.

From LDonline: Visual & Auditory Processing Disorder