• Dr. Kalie Baker

Visual Information Processing Skills



We are going way beyond 20/20 with this post! We are going past the eyes and into the brain and diving into the skills that are truly taken over and controlled by the brain.


As you read through these skills, remember, NONE of these will be caught on a vision screening at your school or your check-ups with a pediatrician or even most likely not even at your annual eye exam with an Optometrist. These are skills that will need to be examined in a more detailed and specific exam by a developmental Optometrist, like myself. Knowing about these and symptoms that can arise from problems can help prevent misdiagnosis with ADD or ADHD and can catch often missed conditions like convergence insufficiency.


If you are concerned about your child having any issues with any of these skills or any of the 17 Visual Skills, call our office today to schedule a complete and comprehensive vision exam.


Visual-motor integration: the ability to process visual information and direct movements coordinated to the instructions based on the visual information

  • you will read many developmental optometrists and occupational therapists who work together often use the phrasing eye-hand coordination instead of the incorrectly implying hand-eye coordination. This is because the limb goes where they can see.

  • Problems here may include poor handwriting and drawing and poorly coordinated fine motor skills and/or gross motor skills.

Laterality: the ability to be aware of the middle of your body and know which side is right and left.

  • This sense of laterality starts in infancy with crawling and then walking as both sides of our both are working together in synchronized motions.

Directionality: the ability to understand the concept of left and right in the world around you.

  • Those with directionality issues often mix up a letter like p & q and b & d.

  • They may have a hard time understand what right and left are on another person or object that is not a part of themselves.

Visual Perceptual Skills: These include several higher-order skills that the brain uses when processing information and greatly affect how well one can read, learn new material, and function in their everyday environment. Skills include:

  • Visual Discrimination

  • Visual Memory

  • Visual-Spatial Relation

  • Visual Form Constancy

  • Visual Sequential Memory

  • Visual figure-ground

  • Visual Closure

  • Learn more about each of these by clicking here.

Visual-Auditory Integration: this is how well our visual and auditory systems work to process information together. Locating something based on the direction the sounds are coming from and increased reaction time to a sound or command are good examples of this integration.

  • Problems can result in delayed reaction time to a sound and poor localization of an object when trying to listen to the direction it is coming from.

Eye Movements: the eyes move quickly and autonomically based off of several factors. These highly specific and coordinated movements include much more than looking up and down and side to side with each other, but also include diverging (aiming away from each other) when looking at something in the distance and converging (aiming more toward each other) as you look at something in closer proximity to yourself.

  • problems can lead to double vision, poor depth perception, appearance as though the world is unstable, headaches, and many other visual disturbing symptoms.


Remember also that vision is MUCH more than just 20/20. As a developmental eye doctor, I can’t help but always want to educate people on the 17 Visual Skills and all the ones that are specifically needed just to read. And when it comes to learning, 80% of what children learn is take in visually.


So it is vital to their academic success and success in everyday activities, as these are not problems children outgrow, that they have well developed visual information processing skills here on this page including the visual perception skills.


Feel like you or your little one are struggling with reading or any of the visual skills needed to live your life comfortably, don’t worry! Vision Therapy has incredibly high success rates for various vision conditions and lazy-eyes (or eye-turns as we like to call them). Call our office today to schedule a complete and comprehensive vision exam.

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