Visual-Perceptual Disorder

A visual processing, or perceptual, disorder ( VPD) refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted or processed by the brain.

Common areas of difficulty and some educational implications

  • Visual Discrimination. Using the sense of sight to notice and compare the features of different items to distinguish one item from another. For example, misunderstanding or confusing written symbols (+, x, /, &) or problems differentiating colors or similarly shaped letters and numbers (example: b/d; p/ q; 6/9; 2/5)
  • Visual Sequencing. The ability to see and distinguish the order of symbols, words, or images. For example, writing within margins or on lines or aligning numbers in math problems or organizing and solving math problems
  • Visual Motor Processing. Using feedback from the eyes to coordinate the movement of other parts of the body. For example, copying from board or books or accurately identifying information from pictures, charts, graphs, maps, etc.
  • Long-Term Visual Memory. The ability to recall something seen some time ago such as remembering directions to a location.
  • Short-Term Visual Memory. The ability to remember something seen very recently. For example, becoming easily distracted, especially by competing visual information or finding and retaining important information in reading assignments or tests.
  • At PTA, our Occupational Therapists are experienced in the treatment of VPD. Let us help your child to succeed in every area of his/her life!