What are Visual Processing Disorders?

Visual processing disorders (VPD) occur when there are issues processing the information the eye sees. While they may frequently affect people with Special Educational Needs, they are also common with those who have language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia (which is trouble with processing language) or dyspraxia (which is a coordination disorder). There are several different types of VPDs (and individuals may have more than one) which present different symptoms.

What are the different types of VPDs?

What are the signs my child may have a VPD?

If you notice your child displays any of the following characteristics consistently, they may well have a VPD which would not be picked up by a standard eye examination. (Remember, you can have 20-20 vision and still have a VPD):

How can vision therapy help?

Our behavioural optometrist can help people improve their visual abilities. They work on visual techniques such as the eyes’ abilities to track (reading a line across a page), fixate (pick out a word in a series), converge (turn inwards to maintain single vision), focus, change focus, visually discriminate (the ability to detect small differences), perceive depth, use peripheral vision and visual memory (or visualisation).

Together we will create a bespoke program of exercises for the specific needs of the individual, which can be practiced at home. Even with multiple VPDs the exercises take no more than 15 minutes a day and can produce significant improvements. Progress is monitored at the clinic with regular assessments and the program adjusted as necessary. We can also advise on simple ways of accommodating difficulties in the classroom, such as using large-print texts, dictating rather than writing or using paper with embossed lines and margins.

VPDs may be a life-long condition, but there are plenty of ways to make life easier and help your child gain confidence in their visual processing abilities.

If you think that you or your child might be experiencing a visual processing disorder, the Multi-Sensory Training Centre can carry out some simple tests and provide tools and techniques to help.

To book an appointment or simply find out more, please get in touch on 01206 911974 and have a chat with one of our team.


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