Have you ever had a student that struggled to identity letters or shapes?  Yes, some students do reverse letters, but I mean students that have a hard time even matching a cross with a cross or a circle with a circle.  This difficulty may be a sign that the students has trouble with visual perception.

What is Visual Perception?

Visual perception is the ability to comprehend what is seen.  A student having difficulties with visual perception can see letters and other symbols, but he cannot make sense of them.  He may not have a strong concept of up, down, right, left, etc.  This will affect the student's ability to identify and match shapes, numbers, and letters.

Signs of a Problem with Visual Perception

1.  Is he struggling to identify letters or words?  Is he not learning to read on schedule?
2.  Is she struggling to master skills in Kindergarten?
3.  Although your child is older, does he struggling to recognize letters or numbers?
4.  Is she still reversing letters frequently past the end of first grade?
5.  Does he often confuse similar words or beginnings/endings of words?
6.  Does she struggle to chunk words into syllables in order to sound them out?

What can you do?

The good news is that this problem can be easily identified with a vision exam by a therapist.  With therapy, children can improve their visual perception.

 Here are some websites with more information:

Wichita Vision Development Center

Vision & Learning Center of Northcentral PA

Eye on Learning

Read my blog post to learn more about identifying signs of an underlying problem in a struggling reader.

Have you ever had a students who moved his or her whole head when the read?  If you did, he or she looked a little bit like a chicken pecking corn. You probably wondered how in the world they could read like that.
The answer: they couldn't.

What are Eye Movements?

Head bobbing is often a sign of a problem with eye movements.  When a child has this problem, he cannot tell where his eyes are looking.  (Seriously.)  He might think he is looking at the board but he is actually looking at something else.
Another example would be a kid trying to catch a ball.  She is watching, watching, watching, but somehow the ball is totally not where she thought it was.

Signs of Eye Movement Problems

1.  Does your child bob his head while reading?
2.  Does your child frequently lose her place while reading?
3.  Does he make careless errors while reading, such as skipping small words or changing the beginnings or endings of words?
4.  Does she need to use her finger to keep her pace while reading?
5.  Does your child have problems focusing?

Next week I will talk about problems with visual perception.

Til next week!
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