Monday, 19 December 2016

Visual Processing and Memory issues with Dyslexia




When people think of seeing they most often think about visual accuracy,as in 20/20 vision. But vision is much more than that. The brain is the main processor for the visual world. When students struggle with visual processing  they will often struggle with reading and reading comprehension. Not all children with visual processing issues have dyslexia and not all dyslexic student struggle with visual processing. However, some dyslexic childen do struggle with visual processing so it is helpful to know more about it.
Visual processing issues affect how a child learns as well as functional skills like kicking a ball or sorting socks. Children with visual dyslexia often struggle with 5 areas.
  • Visual discrimination issues:  These students often have trouble discriminating between 2 different shapes especially if they are similar. This may cause them to confuse letters like b and or p and q.
  • Visual sequencing issues: Students who struggle with sequencing may skip lines when reading or reverse or misread numbers or words. 
  • Long- or short-term visual memory issues:Students with visual memory problems commonly read the same words over and over again by "sounding them out." This is because they can not remember what the word looks like and this slows down reading fluency.
  • Visual figure-ground discrimination issues: Students with this issue often can not pull a shape or letter from its background this will cause them to have trouble finding a specific word or sentence on a page.
  • Visual-motor processing issues: Students with this problem often struggle with coordination because they have difficulty using the feedback from their eyes to coordinate body movements. They may struggle writing on lines or within the margins. and may have trouble copying  from books.

How to Help Children with these issues

Some simple activities you can do at home or in the classroom are to encourage students to do puzzles or work with books like Where's Waldo.



In addition, memory games are very helpful for students who struggle with visual memory. 
But try not  to do just object memory games. Students with visual memory problems or visual discrimination problems need to do word memory games.I created 3 games for Visual memory this winter. Click on the captions to access these fun and helpful games.


It is important to add the kinesthetic aspect when playing a memory match game. Have students close their eyes are try to visualize words and then "air write" those words. 
"Air "writing is helpful to visual memory


I also created a SMART Notebook activities to assist with visual memory and CVC words and a printable pack to help especially with students who have visual memory and visual discrimination struggles with CVC words.  You can purchase this helpful resource here.

Have students read across and then vertically
Line and loop is great for eye tracking and fine motor control



This is great for figure ground practice.

With practice kids who struggle with visual discrimination can improve their reading ability.
Please let me know if you have comments or questions and I would be happy to help.






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