We use visual processing to read, write, and tell the body where it is concerning objects or people. Unfortunately, for young children with Vision Process Disorders (VPD), their first vision exam (at age five) will not typically detect any indication of VPD.
Children who are most at risk to have a visual processing issue are those who have a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Parents and teachers may attribute specific visual issues behaviors to SPD and are unaware that it could indicate a VPD.
- Poor tracking when reading *
- Loss of place or needing a finger/marker when reading
- Difficulty with handwriting (visual-motor planning) *
- Difficulty with copying notes from the board or other sources *
- Difficulty identifying words or letters
- Confuses letters, numbers, and shapes.
- Displays poor visual memory
- (i.e., phone number, words, letters, and notes) *
- Becomes overwhelmed with large amounts of information on a page
- (i.e., math paper with several rows of problems) *
- Headaches in the forehead or temple *
- Closing or covering an eye
- Turning or tilting the head to seen an object *
- Having an unnatural posture when reading or performing sustained visual tasks *
- Difficulty with movement or sports
- poor balance and coordination *
- poor eye-hand coordination
- Looking out of the corner of the eye *
- Poor eye contact *
- Stares into space *
- Poor Spatial awareness *
- Light sensitivity
- Fixation on light patterns (including windows or blinds)
- Gaze aversion
- Does not follow where someone else is looking
* I’ve stared symptoms my Ninja struggles with
It is important to understand that glasses or medication will not correct a visual processing issue. Children who have a VPD will often show improvement with Vision and or Occupational Therapy to help strengthen visual processing and visual-motor planning.
The best way to support your child academically is work with your school and get an IEP plan in place. Specific accommodations for a child with VPD can include items like a printed copy of the teacher’s notes for your child to highlight or fill in information during lectures.
Children will not grow out of VPD. There are, however, many tools and resources available to improve their skills. Children with VPD may still struggle with this issue into adulthood.
Things to keep in mind: VPD is not dyslexia, ADHD or SPD. Although many children with VPD struggle with attention and focus, it’s can be attributed to the fact that their brains cannot process the information they are seeing. If you think your child may have VPD you can go to this www.covd.org to find a developmental optometrist in your area.
photo credit: www.AssistedSeniorLiving.net