In Health

About Visual Processing Disorder

visual processing disorder

Having a visual processing disorder refers to an inability to make sense of information absorbed through a person’s eyesight. This causes problems processing visual information. To put it into context, children must have sharp eyesight in order to see print clearly. Their eye movements must be in sync in order to follow a line of print. They also must be able to process what they are seeing. If their visual skills are sub par, they can have serious problems in the area of learning to read.

Here are some of the most common difficulties related to visual processing disorder.

Visual Discrimination

The process of using one’s sight to distinguish one item from another with a similar look. One example is being confused by written symbols such as these: ( +, x, /, & ) ) There can be problems differentiating colors, or letters with the same approximate shape. Here are some examples: ( d and b, p and q, 6 and 9, 2 and 5 )

Visual Sequence

Another difficulty could be distinguishing the proper order of words, images, and symbols. One example would be having problems writing inside the margins of a lined sheet of paper. Troubles with math can also result. There can an issue with lining up math problems. as well as organizing and solving them.

Visual Motion Processing

This concerns using visual feedback to set up and co-ordinate body part movement. An example would be attempting to copy school work from a book or blackboard. Or taking in information in the form of pictures, graphs, maps, and charts.

Long-term Visual Memory

This would include the ability to recall and record in your memory something you have witnessed in the past. An example would be recalling the directions to a location.

Short-term Visual Memory

With this there is difficulty in remembering something viewed recently. An example would be not retaining information related to tests or reading assignments. There issues make succeeding in math very challenging, often leading to avoidance and anxiety.

Medical Research

Because a child may be having trouble in school they are brought to ophthalmologists thinking the problem is related to eyesight. But in reality the actual problem is a disorder of the brain when it comes to processing vision. Even if the patient registers as having 20/20 vision. Faulty brain processing can still result in learning problems for affected children. Recently, New Clinical Practice Guidelines have come into practice by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Discovered was an overgrowth of neutrons in the prefrontal cortex of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These findings could be somewhat related to the sufferers of visual processing disorder in terms of verifying a cause.

Symptoms

Here are some of the symptoms parents should look for to determine if their child may have a problem with vision processing disorder.

* Your child mixes up similar shaped letters. ( d and b )

* Your child mixes up words by changing letters around ( saw and was ) * Your child reads a story but can’t speak in detail about what they have just read.

* Your child will skip words, letters, or paragraphs when reading.

* Your child writes from the left side of the page initially, but then veers further and further toward the middle of the page.

* Your child gets headaches during and after reading. Due to the nature of visual processing disorder, it is quite common for the condition to go untreated. In most United States schools, children enter school at the age of five. A key reason for this is that five is the age most children’s eyes are advanced enough to engage in learning activities.

If a child has problems focusing on school work initially, a first area to look at is visual immaturity. A key reason the disorder goes untreated is due to a general eyesight examination that finds the child’s vision normal. Further investigation is not looked into.

In reality, there are twenty vision factors that could cause difficulty in processing visual information. A child could have one of these problems, and still be able to view things clearly from a distance of 20 feet. To amplify the situation, 10 percent of school age children are known to have eye teaming problems. For the short distance required for children to read, the affected students are able to aim their eyes properly for only a short period of the time. One of the symptoms of the disorder is that the printed page “swims” and moves as the child attempts to read material in front of him., They can also suffer from strained eyes. Fatigue headaches are another symptom. As a result of these symptoms a child can find themselves easily distracted and unable to concentrate on the task at hand. It is entirely possible that the children can be misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Visual Processing Disorder & Dyslexia

While not the same disorder, there is some overlapping symptoms that have a visual component to them when it comes to children who have the condition, Dyslexia.

They include:

* When looking at words on a page they seem to move about.

* Text can look like blocks of black text that have streaks of whiteness running through them.

* The mixing up of text letters with similar shapes.

* Because it requires tight eye muscle control, children with dyslexia can find it difficult to track text on a page.

* Children with Dyslexia can suffer from dyspraxia; difficulties with gross motor control and fine motor control.

Testing One method of diagnosing visual disorders is the use of IQ tests. Although professionals disagree over the best methods to use, the WISC-III is commonly used in the testings. The strategy is to measure the difference between IQ potential and student performance. Another method is the use of the RTI model.This process calls for teachers to closely monitor identified students, and to intervene when learning problems become clear. The children that are identified receive support and special lessons, in the hope that their learning performance improves. Those who support IQ testing say that with no empirical data, there could be errors in diagnosis. The backers of RTI argue that focus on outcomes are more important than test scores.

Diagnosis Diagnosing a learning disability can be a long and complicated process. However, it will be worth it to all concerned is a viable solution is reached. The process can involve testing, history taking, and various means of observation. It is important to locate the right type of specialist. A place to start is your child’s school. Other possibilities could be your insurance company, doctor, or reliable friends and family.

There are several types of specialists that could involved in reaching the proper diagnosis. They include: * Developmental psychologists * Neuropsychologist * Educational psychologists * Psychometrics * Child psychiatrists * Occupational Therapist * School psychologists * Clinical psychologists * Speech and language therapist In many cases, it is necessary to put together a team of experts and specialist that work together as a co-iodinated team with the goal of reaching the correct diagnosis.They may seek input from your child’s teacher or teachers. Their findings may indicate a need for special education services, or some type of speech language therapy involving a school system.

Professional learning disorder specialist may inform parents and educators that three key principles are included in the normal process of learning. They are: INTEGRATION:: This a person’s ability to understand information that has been delivered to the brain. SEQUENCING: This involves putting the information delivered to the brain in the proper order. ABSTRACTION: This is the ability to make sense of what is delivered to the brain. ORGANIZATION: This brain’s ability to use delivered information to form complete thoughts. All these functions are key to your child’s ability to learn. If there is a weakness in one or two of there areas, problems will arise, and the need for the proper therapy and treatment will come about.

Parents Role In Treatment In the case of parents dealing with a learning disability like visual processing disorder, it not always easy to know what course of action to take. Using specialists to diagnose and pinpoint the disorder is very important. So is working with your child’s school to arrange accommodations for your child in the area of special academic help. Since parents know their child the best, they have to take the lead on being on top of all aspect of their child’s special needs in terms of academics and personal growth. Here are some suggested areas to target. Learn all you can about your child’s disability and how the proposed treatments can help them thrive. Look for ways to conduct treatment at home, even if a specialized tutor has to be hired. Nurture your child’s strengths and cultivate a positive mental attitude. This will help as you continue treatment of their learning disorder.

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