Visual Processing Therapy

Visual Processing Therapy helps individuals overcome limitations in cognitive processing caused by attention and working memory deficits. Deficits in these areas are often referred  to under the broader term of Visual Processing Disorders.

Visual Processing Disorders involve difficulties interpreting and understanding visual information. When we fail to process visual information properly it leads to Visual Processing Disorder, also called Visual Perceptual Disorder or Visual Processing Issues. Visual Processing Disorder is very different from conditions affecting visual acuity, which is the sharpness and clarity of eyesight, and cannot be corrected by using glasses or contact lenses. It is important to note that individuals do not “outgrow” Visual Processing Disorder. However, individuals typically develop compensatory techniques to overcome some of their challenges.

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center our Visual Processing Therapy program uses structured, evidence based, engaging therapeutic treatment techniques to improve working memory and visual processing speed. Results are achieved by improving neuro-timing, which is the synchronization of neural impulses. Neuro-timing is what allows us to focus, process language, keep our balance, have smooth gait, play a sport, and read. Neuro-timing is responsible for the synchronous communication of our brain's network system that connects cognitive processes and physical movement.  



Who Can Benefit from Visual Processing Therapy?

Visual Processing Therapy can help both children and adults, and provide life-long benefits.  Visual Processing Therapy is a type of treatment that you may need if you experience difficulties with:

Visual Processing Speed
This affects the pace at which an individual takes in information, makes sense of it and then responds.  Visual processing speed deficits (slow processing speed) has nothing to do with how smart an individual is, but rather how fast information is taken in and used.  This can also affect executive functioning skills. These are the thinking skills that affect planning, setting goals, responding to problems or staying focused on tasks.
Visual Agnosia
This leads to difficulty, or the inability, to visually identify letters, numbers, words or objects that are “known” to them.    In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty remembering letters of the alphabet, sight words, information for tests, etc.
Visual Closure
This leads to difficulty identifying “part” versus “whole”.  The ability to recognize an object or word when only parts of it are visible.  In the classroom setting this can have tremendous impact on spelling as it is difficult to recognize a word if a letter is missing.
Visual Discrimination (Form Discrimination)
This leads to difficulty, or the inability, to discriminate differences between objects based on their individual characteristics.  In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty in reading and math, with difficulty identifying patterns; difficulty in correctly identifying letters, numbers or symbols; reading from left to right; difficulty in perceiving differences between similar letters or words such as m and n, b and d, p and q.  Visual discrimination affects reading fluency.
Visual Figure-Ground
This leads to difficultly, or the inability, to see a shape or character hidden in a background; visually discriminating a shape or image from its background. In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty locating a specific piece of information on a page.
Visual Memory
There are two different types of visual memory (1) short-term visual memory and (2) long-term visual memory.  Short-term visual memory is the ability to recall something seen within a very short period of time and with little interference or distraction.  Long-term visual memory is the ability to recall something seen some time ago. In the classroom this leads to difficulty with reading comprehension or performing well on tests.
Visual-Motor Processing, also referred to as Visual-Motor Integration
This leads to difficulty coordinating information received by the eyes and coordinating with the movement of other body parts.  For instance, seeing the pitcher throw the ball and knowing when to swing the bat in order to hit the ball. In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty copying information from the white board to paper.
Visual Sequencing
This leads to difficulty recalling the order of letters, symbols, words or pictures.  In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty remembering sight words, or reversing or misreading words, letters or numbers as well as aligning numbers in math problems or organizing and solving math problems.
This leads to difficulty identifying position in space, both of one's self as well as other objects.  This is the ability to understand “near” and “far”. In the classroom setting this leads to difficulty writing or coloring inside the lines, spacing letters and words properly on the page when writing, judging time or reading maps.

Individuals Who Perform Below Potential

The term, performing below potential, can apply to individuals in many ways.  Visual Processing Therapy can help overcome barriers to improving performance for those who:

  • Have difficulty completing activities or tasks within the allotted 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

Visual working memory (VWM) affects everyone; impacting how we learn, our social interactions, and job performance.   While visual working memory has limited capacity, long-term memory has virtually unlimited capacity. It is important to note, that information that is to be remembered and transferred to long-term memory must first be stored in working memory.  This is why working memory plays a central role in learning.

Individuals With Autism

Poor visual working memory can contribute to the struggles experienced by individuals with autism.  Study results suggest that individuals with autism have a much worse visual working memory as compared to the general population.   Visual working memory functions much like a mental blackboard. Individuals with poor visual working memory have increased difficulty understanding math concepts or solving math problems in their head – even simple addition and subtraction problems.

Similar studies suggest that visual working memory may play an important role in developing social skills in children with autism.  We use visual working memory to read body language and pickup other social cues in order to respond appropriately. Individuals who have challenges processing nonverbal communication are more likely to experience awkwardness in social settings.


The Advanced Vision Therapy Center Difference

Established in 1991, Advanced Vision Therapy Center has become the Northwest's premier vision therapy clinic. For more than 25 years, Advanced Vision Therapy Center has worked with patients to improve visual system performance and overall quality of life – delivering lifelong results for both children and adults. The success of our patients is one of the many reasons why Advanced Vision Therapy Center is trusted by both local patients and those who travel to Boise for care.

Visual processing therapy at Advanced Vision Therapy Center is:

  • Personalized, tailored to the ability of the individual
  • Targeted, based on clinical assessment and focused on treatment goals
  • Rehabilitative, systematic therapy techniques are used to improve brain plasticity
  • Optimized, to maximize long-term results
  • Clinically monitored, to ensure treatment goals are met
  • Proven to work, using research and evidence based treatment protocols

The success of vision therapy treatment programs at Advanced Vision Therapy Center is based on many factors. We have developed a team of experts in their field who have advanced training, certifications and years of experience providing visual processing therapy to a wide variety of patients.


You have questions.  We have answers. We invite you to call 208.377.1310 for the help you need.  



Before vision therapy, Sarah struggled with reading, experienced frequent headaches, and overall had difficulties focusing during school.  Despite tutoring and summer literacy programs, she continued to struggle with reading; she skipped lines and never volunteered to read aloud.  Following vision therapy, Sarah no longer loses her place while reading and even volunteers to read aloud. "Until Dr. Johnson tested for Sarah's vision issues we all were unaware they existed.  This experience help… 
- Sarah's Story
In the few weeks Erin has been attending vision therapy, we are already beginning to notice changes. Homework doesn't take as long as it did two months ago, there are no more tears when she has a lot to write, she is becoming more and more independent as time goes on. She still needs a lot of guidance, but seems to "catch on" to what is expected of her a lot faster. The greatest improvement, however, has been in her report card. Last year, Erin's third grade teacher wanted to fail her because s… 
- Erin's Story
"Bella loves reading now, whereas before she hated it. I have already recommended that two of my friends bring their children here because they are struggling with similar issues. Bella had so much fun with therapy and I have enjoyed seeing her improve in her reading and the rest of school."  
- J.G.
"Before I started vision therapy, I hated doing homework or reading.  I would give my mom a hard time and homework would take forever.  Now, I love school, schoolwork, homework, and reading.  My glasses helped out a lot.  I have seen a difference in my handwriting, reading and just seeing things in a new way.  Vision therapy has helped me open up and accept changes, it has helped me be more aware of what is going on.  Vision therapy kept me out of the Special Ed. class at my old school and help… 
- K.A.
"Before vision therapy Aidan hated school and homework.  He would jump from line to line while reading, he rubbed his eyes a lot while doing homework, and he turned words completely around when reading (saw became was).  After vision therapy with Advanced Vision Therapy Center, his reading scores have improved drastically, he is less disruptive in class, and his overall view of school is much better.  He is looking forward to starting second grade and reads like a champ!"  
- F.L.
"About two years ago I went to the eye doctor and he discovered I had a problem with my vision.  We tried glasses, but it made it worse.  My doctor recommended vision therapy.  From the start of vision therapy I loved the sessions.  I got to play games while fixing my eyes.  I went to vision therapy for a few months and my eyes made huge improvements, my regular eye doctor was amazed.  It is remarkable how exercises and games can improve somone's eyesight dramatically.  If anyone has eye proble… 
- L.B.
"Thank you so much for introducing me to vision therapy.  This was brand new to me and it surprised me with it's effectiveness.  I can definitely tell a difference in my eyes while reading.  This has particularly improved at times when my eyes are tired, when I used to get most uncomfortable.  As a student, I can tell a difference in my study habits, and vision therapy has also helped me enjoy reading more than I used to. I would recommend vision therapy to anyone with a similar problem with… 
- C.W.
My son's eyes were consistently red after school and while attempting to sit down and do homework, he complained that he was seeing two of everything. He just fought me when it came time to read. This started in kindergarten and followed into first grade, so I had patience with his struggles, basing it on the fact that maybe he still needs some time to learn how to read. It was not until the school started to reach out to me that he was not at reading level and also acting out in class that I d… 
- Rachelle T.

Call 208.377.1310 to Schedule Your Assessment

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.

Not sure which type of vision assessment is right for you? Call us today and we'll help you determine the best assessment to achieve your visual goals.

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