Visual Perception 

Visual perception is the ability to make sense of what the eyes see. It involves organising and interpreting our world. It is not the same as acuity (how clear it is)  but is complex and requires multi-sensory experience.

For example Can you say what is the next shape in this series?

(answer below if you give up*)


Without this ability, we cannot function efficiently. Self esteem can suffer and academic and leisure performance is compromised. 

Perception means understanding requires experience.

How can I tell if my child has a problem with  Visual Perception?

Read on......

Is this image moving or not?

3D Vision at VisionCare Development

Why is it important?

Good perceptual skills are important for every day skills such as:


Social relationships,

Playground activities




Completing puzzles

Cutting out


Completing maths problems 

Dressing and finding your socks

on the patterned carpet. 

- Completing puzzles or 'dot to dot's

- With spatial concepts such as in, under, next to and backwards

- Differentiating between b,d,p and q

- Reversing numbers or letters when writing

- losing place on a page when reading or writing

- Remembering left and right

- Forgetting where to start reading

- Sequencing letters or numbers in words or maths problems

- Remembering the alphabet

- Copying from one place to another

- Dressing - matching shoes or socks

- Discriminating between sizes of objects

- Remembering sight words

- Filtering out visual distractions to attend to the task in hand

- Sorting and organising personal belongings

If a child has difficulties with visual perception, they may have difficulty:

What are the building blocks?

-Sensory processing - accurate registration, interpretation and response to stimulation in the environment and the our own body.

-Visual attention - Ability to focus on important visual information and filter out unimportant background information

- Visual discrimination - Ability to determine differences or similarities in objects based on colour, size, and shape.

- Visual memory  Ability to recall visual form of an object

- Visual spatial relationships Understanding the relationships of objects within the environment, eg perspective.

-Visual sequential memory - Ability to recall a sequence of objects in the correct order

-Visual figure ground - Ability to locate something in a busy background. Finding socks on a patterned carpet!

-Visual Form Constancy - Ability to know that a form or shape is the same even if it has been made smaller /larger or turned around.

- Visual closure Ability to recognise a form or object when part of it is missing. 

If left untreated what difficulties might arise?

-Anxiety and stress reducing academic potential

-Difficulties in completing busy worksheets of following visual instructions

-difficulty dressing independently and managing self

-difficulty in completing exams due to inability to block out unimportant information

-poor self esteem when compared with peers

-poor handwriting skills



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What can be done to improve visual perception skills?

-Visual cues - placing dots in appropriate place

-Hidden picture games  (where's Wally?)

-Practice completing a partly drawn picture

-Dot to dot worksheets

-Memory games

-Sensory activities - tactile with pipe cleaners, write in sand. 

-Construction activities with Lego

-Direction arrows

-Graph paper - helps word spacing

-Flash cards

-Alphabet strip to learn that the letter C is near the beginning and X is near the end. 

-Eliminate clutter - keep desk clear of distractions

-Break activities into small steps

*Answer to the puzzle at the top of the page:

 If you have not yet understood this illusion, the characters are 1 reflected, 2 reflected etc so the next one would be four circles (88)