Visual perception is a set of skills that provides the perceiver with information about objects, events, and spatial layouts in which he or she must think and act. It involves the ability to attend to and identify important visual features in the environment and interpret and attach meaning to the information to engage with the environment.
- The ability to discriminate dominant features of objects within visual images. It allows individuals to identify and recognize the likeness and differences of shapes/forms, colors and position of objects, people, and printed materials. These skills help us understand and interpret the environment around us.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: difficulties matching clothing, distinguishing between different coins or money, difficulty with similar letters and numbers such a d/b, 5/s, or car/cat, and difficulty determining which lines to cut when using scissors.
- Activities Include: identifying opposites, sorting and matching cards, doing puzzles, organizing similar and sorting different blocks.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: reading a medication bottle incorrectly or not being able to desirer between different medications.
- The ability to recognize and recall visually presented information. The individual must be able to make a vivid visual image in their mind of the stimulus, such as a word, and once that stimulus is removed, they must be able to visualize or recall this stimulus without assistance.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: children who have not developed their visual memory skills cannot readily reproduce a sequence of visual stimuli and this is a critical factor in reading, spelling, and writing. They may have difficulty remembering the letter sequence of words for reading, writing, and spelling. Producing written work on worksheets and tests may be difficult. Everyday implications include: recalling where you put your keys, ability to give and follow directions, remembering phone numbers or passcodes.
- Activities Include: copy patterns using beads, pegs, blocks, letters or numbers, playing memory games, playing “I-Spy”, placing simple objects in front of your child for 30 seconds and remove them to see if they are able to recall the objects.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: remembering important phone numbers if you become lost or injured.
- Understanding of how objects and people move in relation to each other, which helps children and adults be able to locate objects and navigate successfully within their environment.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: having difficulty describing and understanding the world around them, knowing which shoe to put on which foot, difficulty drawing shapes, walking in a crowded hallway without running into others, and not knowing the difference between beside/under/above, etc.
- Activities Include: encourage toddlers to track objects by slowly moving objects across their line of sight, and encourage stacking of different size blocks to promote understanding of dimensions.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: walking off the curb when you were supposed to stop for a “do not cross sign or do not walk sign”, parking too close to a vehicle or bumping into a vehicle because you did not break in time.
- Refers to the ability to recognize and label object regardless if they are viewed from a different angle or in a different environment. For example, being able to recognize that a dog is a dog whether you see it in a photograph, in a garden, in the park, and whether it is sitting, lying down, or running.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: children may not recognize shapes, numbers, and letters when the color, size, or font changes including if they are presented in a different context (for example when these colors or numbers are presented on the playground instead of in the classroom). Also, being able to manipulate puzzle pieces into a puzzle and distinguishing between a circle/oval is impaired. Basically, this is being able to generalize information in different contexts. A functional example would be that a person can distinguish a men’s restroom from a women’s restroom in whatever location that they were in.
- Activities Include: making letters in different colors and font to play the game “I-Spy”, have your child take a walk-through town and let them find the current number, letter, or color that the child is learning, use a picture book to find different shapes throughout, or putting objects in a bag and ask your child to identify the shape that he/she can feel inside of the bag.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: not recognizing safety signs that should be generalized from other situations.
- The ability to remember visual details in the correct sequence.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: this skill is essential for spelling, reading, and completing multiple digit addition and subtraction.
- Activities: play word games such as hangman, word searches, talk about your day with your child and then have them recall each step of the day, and playing matching card games.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: not remembering written directions that were given for you to drive from point A to point B or not remember what temperature to set the oven too from a recipe book.
- The ability to focus on one specific piece of information within a busy background.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: difficulty finding your favorite sock in a messy draw, finding a specific toy in a toy-box, finding a specific key on a counter with other objects, losing his/her place when copying work from the board, losing her/her place while reading a book, and difficulty finding information on a cluttered blackboard.
- Activities: sorting mixed cereal or pasta into bowls based on pasta color or shape, using the book “Where’s Waldo” or “I-Spy”, and playing different board games.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: finding a fire extinguisher in a closet full of different supplies to put out fire.
- The ability to recognize a familiar item, word, or picture, when given incomplete information or a partial picture.
- Functional Implications if Impaired: children may not be able to read and comprehend the information quickly, being able to figure out what a road sign says, even when the writing is partially hidden by trees or graffiti, making sense of words on a smudged page, and being able to find a missing item when it is partly hidden.
- Activities: show your child a variety of small toy animals and partially hide 3 or 3 under a cloth and have the child attempt to identify the animals or objects; this activity can also be completed using shapes, colors, or numbers. Completing word searches, filling in missing letters or words within a sentence and completing puzzles are helpful activities.
- Safety Implications if Impaired: driving through a stop sign that is hidden by a branch and only showing the bottom of the sign (you do not recognize only half of it)