VISUAL ACUITY only measures the smallest discernible print size seen at a given distance. Vision on the other hand, describes the ability to focus on an object and then make sense of that object relative to its context and surroundings.
VISION essentially describes our interpretation of what we see. If the interpretation of what is seen by a child is not well developed, then difficulties can arise in various aspects of their school work, including reading, writing, comprehension, spelling, maths and concentration/memory.
Above is an example of a common object that requires visual interpretation. Can you work out what it is?
VISUAL PERCEPTION (Non-motor visual skills). This is the ability to locate, select, analyse, recall and manipulate visual information. Success in this skill ensures accurate number and letter recognition, sight word vocabulary, and mathematical understanding. Generally, visual perception has been broken down into different areas of skill.
Visual Discrimination
This is the ability to be aware of specific features of objects and letters (eg: size, shape, orientation).
Success in this skill ensures accurate number and letter recognition. Deficiencies in visual discrimination may cause problems in understanding the differences and similarities in the formation of letters, and the sizes of letters
Visual Spatial Memory / Sequential Memory
This is the ability to remember previously presented objects, whether singularly or in a group.
Success in spatial memory helps with the ability to remember the location and description of an object after it has been briefly presented and then removed. Success in sequential memory helps with ability to remember a specific sequence of letters, numbers or objects. Deficiencies in visual memory may cause errors in spelling, trouble with writing from left to right, and writing on a line.
This is the ability to juggle and rotate images mentally.
Success in this skill ensures that words, letters or numbers are still recognised even if they are presented sideways, upside down, or in different fonts. Deficiencies in visualisation can cause confusion between reversible letters (eg: b, d and p, q) and cause errors when reading text in different font styles and sizes.
Visual Closure
This is the ability to to recognise an object when only a portion of that object is visible.
Success in this skill ensures the fast and accurate recognition of numbers and words. Deficiencies in visual closure can cause the child to not complete words or sentences when writing. Also a child may have difficulty copying information if parts of that information is missing.
Visual Figure Ground
This is the ability to find specific objects or patterns within a competing background (eg: finding a particular word within a page of text).
Success in this skill helps find individual letters or words within a page of text. Deficiencies in visual figure ground skills may cause a child to have trouble finding their place in a page of text, and they may have difficulty copying text.
At dean samarkovski OPTOMETRIST, visual perceptual skills can be tested and compared to expected results for different age children. Typically, these tests take approximately 1 hour, and require good concentration by the child with minimal surrounding distractions. At the completion of testing, the reults are analysed and a written report is provided to the parent and teacher. The time spent conducting the test and writing the report is not reimbursed by medicare, therefore a private fee will be charged, payable on the day of testing.