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What is Visual Processing Disorder?

If you feel like your child is struggling to learn to read, reads at a slower rate than classmates, or has difficulty with comprehension, please read on-- this post is for you.

Your child or loved one may be struggling with Visual Processing Disorder. Visual Processing Disorder cannot be detected by using an eye chart. Instead, parents and educators typically notice visual processing disorders when a child is learning.

Unfortunately, individuals with visual processing disorders are often “diagnosed” as having dyslexia. Providers who are not professionally trained and licensed to diagnose dyslexia can easily misidentify visual perceptual deficits as dyslexia. This misidentification can have devastating, life-long repercussions. 

An individual with Visual Processing Disorder will require a greater number of exposures, more typically in the range of 10 to 15 times more often, in order to recall visual information, for example a letter or a word. It is easy to understand why an individual with Visual Processing Disorder will learn to read at a significantly slower rate, and with greater effort by the individual as well as the parents and educator, than someone with intact visual processing skills.

Symptoms and Difficulties

When visual information is perceived or processed incorrectly, it cannot be “matched” or integrated with our other senses. Instead of reinforcing our learning experiences, it distracts and interferes. For instance, the ability to read music is an excellent example of visual auditory integration. While learning to dance by watching the instructor is a good example of visual motor integration.

Individuals with visual perception or visual processing problems may:

  • Confuse similar looking words
  • Reverse letters or numbers
  • Have poor reading comprehension
  • Make errors copying
  • Easily forget letters, numbers or words
  • Be a poor speller
  • Have handwriting that is crooked or poorly spaced
  • Have difficulty following multi-stepped directions
  • Have difficulty telling time or understanding the concept of time
     

People with Visual Processing Disorder, both children and adults, can show some or all of these symptoms. Since misdiagnosis is not uncommon, it’s important that the individual consults an eye doctor who is an expert on visual processing. 

Visual Processing Disorder should not go untreated. 

A Lifelong Challenge

Individuals with Visual Processing Disorder are overall slower readers and usually with below grade-level comprehension rates. Again, Visual Processing Disorder is not a condition that someone outgrows. It is a lifelong challenge unless diagnosed and treated.

Visual perceptual and visual processing deficits can be treated, but Intervention is required.

If you suspect visual perceptual or visual processing deficits please give us a call to schedule an assessment. We can help with our proven Vision Processing Therapy treatments. 

girl holding her face in frustration

Visual Processing Therapy

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center we offer testing, evaluation and treatment for individuals with symptoms of Visual Processing Disorder.

Visual Processing Therapy can help both children and adults, and provide life-long benefits.

Visual Processing Therapy is a type of treatment to help individuals who experience difficulties with:

  • Visual Processing Speed
  • Visual Agnosia
  • Visual Closure
  • Visual Discrimination (Form Discrimination)
  • Visual Figure-Ground
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual-Motor Processing / Visual-Motor Integration
  • Visual Sequencing

Visual Processing Therapy helps individuals who perform below potential, helping to overcome barriers to improve performance for those who:

  • Have difficulty completing activities or tasks within the time allowed
  • Struggle with reading speed, or experience lower than expected IRI scores
  • Experience forgetfulness or have difficulty recalling information
  • Have poor, or below grade-level, reading comprehension
  • Are slow to react, such as when driving or playing a sport

It is important to note that individuals do not “outgrow” Visual Processing Disorder. However, some individuals develop compensatory techniques to overcome some of their challenges.

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center we've been providing Visual Processing Therapy since 1991. Our treatment program uses structured, evidence based, engaging therapeutic treatment techniques to improve working memory and visual processing speed. For more information, please visit our Visual Processing Therapy page

If you have questions, or would like to schedule an assessment please give us a call at (208) 377-1310.

Posted by Ryan Johnson at 4/22/2021 8:11:00 PM
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Advanced Vision Therapy Center is Idaho’s premier clinic for Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation and Sports Vision Training. We offer vision assessments and customized treatment for both children and adults that are tailored to the specific vision condition of each individual.

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