Visual-perceptual Weaknesses Associated with Academic Delays

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Visual-Perceptual Weaknesses

  • Slow to discriminate shapes, as in trying to put a circle into a square hole (visual discrimination problem)
  • Confuses left and right
  • Poor spatial judgment, as in discriminating bigger from smaller objects or the right screw to fit into a hole
  • Difficulty estimating time, being on time
  • Poor sense of direction (takes forever to learn one's way around a new place; gets lost in a new house)
  • Difficulty judging speed and distance (as in athletic activities, driving a car)
  • Poor visual imagery; can't perceive the end product in puzzles and mazes, or becomes confused with computer game graphics
  • Difficulty conceptualizing higher-level math concepts
  • Trouble interpreting maps, graphs, charts, and diagrams
  • Trouble perceiving the body language and subtleties in social communication; doesn't pick up on others' moods and feelings
  • Trouble getting the main idea or focusing on the whole; focuses on details instead
  • A busy background interferes with focusing on the most important stimulus, as in busy worksheets or spotting one's friend in a crowd (figure-ground problem)
  • Trouble finding embedded figures, as in a word search or spotting a keyword in a paragraph
  • Poor visual memory for shapes and sequences of objects, letters, and numbers
  • Trouble choosing a missing piece to complete a figure or design (as in a puzzle) or spotting a critical element in a story
  • Trouble perceiving which pieces fit together to make a whole, as in a model or developing a story line
  • Often loses things, cannot spot objects "in plain sight"
  • Difficulty spotting errors in one's own work
  • Difficulty planning and organizing one's day or work
  • Difficulty perceiving strategies for success in games

Motor Functions That Can Be Affected by Visual- Perceptual Weaknesses

  • Delays in learning to copy designs and letters; many inaccuracies
  • Slow and poorly executed handwriting; dislikes and avoids writing
  • Papers are messy and incomplete; many crossouts and erasures
  • Difficulty remembering shapes of letters and numbers, and which way they face when writing (reversals and rotations)
  • Uneven spacing between letters and words
  • Plans space poorly when drawing, doing projects, copying
  • Omits letters from words and words from sentences when writing or copying
  • Poor spelling because can't remember how words should look (spells phonetically)
  • Poor alignment of math problems results in computation errors
  • Poor drawing of human figures
  • Poor manual skills and sloppy work
  • Clumsy gait and body movements (bumps into furniture and doorways)
  • Slow reaction time (as in slowness reacting to a traffic signal change or yelling "bingo")
  • Poor balance due to spatial judgment problems
  • Awkward finer-motor movements, as in typing
  • Performance IQ lower than Verbal IQ

Language Functions That Can Be Affected by Visual- Perceptual Weaknesses

  • Misreads similar-looking letters and words (b and d, m and w, bread and beard)
  • Reversal of letter sequences in reading and spelling (was and saw; on and no)
  • Difficulty recognizing and remembering sight words, but can sound out words phonetically
  • Loses place when reading
  • Has trouble finding letters in words or words in sentences
  • Poor memory for printed words, number sequences, diagrams, maps, illustrations
  • Poor comprehension of main ideas and themes
  • Confuses "right" and "left"
  • Difficulty memorizing math facts, formulas, equations
  • Trouble "getting to the point" (becomes bogged down in details; can describe portico of a building but not the building's overall style and shape)
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