Assistance to children and adults with reading and learning problems
Children with such visual information processing delays or problems exhibit a significant number of symptoms or difficulties in trying to learn. A partial list of these includes:
· sloppy handwriting or problems copying
· trouble remembering what was read
· confusion of similar looking words
· losing place or skipping words while reading
· trouble maintaining attention
With this kind of evidence of visual perceptual problems, further perceptual testing is usually indicated to go beyond the initial exam. Because of the importance of knowing the level of basic visual skills, the information processing assessment will not be conducted without results from a recent comprehensive vision exam.
The goals of the additional assessment is to identify strengths and weaknesses in processing, and then recommend a strategy for helping the child develop weak skills more fully if that is necessary. Vision therapy, as well as assistance from other professionals, may be indicated.
The Visual Information Processing Assessment
The comprehensive evaluation of visual information processing requires time and cooperation. These exams are typically scheduled for two hours in our campus clinic after the completion of a complete eye exam. Sometimes additional testing at another visit is required to complete the total evaluation. It consists of a comprehensive history and pencil and paper and other visually involved tasks administered one-on-one in a quiet setting.
Once the exam is completed, an appointment is made for a detailed consultation with the parents and/or any other interested and involved party. At this time a written report, summarizing all findings, impressions, and recommendations, is provided. This report can be shared with anyone involved in the child's or individual's care or education. The consultation time and the written report are included in the global fee.
The fee for these services is usually not covered by health insurance or vision plans.
Fine motor control: The ability to quickly and precisely execute manipulative tasks.
Visual-motor integration: The ability to integrate visual information with fine motor movements.
Visual memory: The ability to recognize or recall previously presented visual information.
Visual discrimination: The ability to visually tell/detect the difference between similar items.
Visual attention: The ability to attend to the relevant visual information from all the visual information available.
Saccadic eye movements: Quick movements of the eyes to change fixation from one location to another, such as during reading.
Receptive vocabulary: The words of a language that a person knows or under-stands when they hear them.
Reading and spelling patterns: How a person habitually decodes or reads words and encodes or spells words – usually focused on either phonetics or eidetics (sight words).
While signs of other problems such as dyslexia or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be evident during this assessment, these diagnoses are not directly made, but appropriate referrals for further evaluation will be made.
The goal of the visual information processing assessments conducted in the Pediatrics Clinic in the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University is to help identify a child's pattern of strengths and weaknesses to help improve visual difficulties that may be hindering academic performance.
If your child is struggling with schoolwork, and you feel that there is a potential within them that they have not yet tapped, then maybe there is a visual processing delay that is holding them back.