visual closure

How We Test Special Needs Kids For Visual Closure


Today I’d like to talk to you about a test we do in occupational therapy called TVPS 4, which stands for Test for Visual Perception Skills 4th Edition. This test looks at 7 different areas of visual perception.


Visual Perception


Visual perception is a term that we find confuses many people, because it can be tricky to understand the difference between “visual” and “perception,” and how they work together. To help you better understand this concept I’m going to talk about one aspect of visual perception called visual closure.


Box Matches


One page in our visual closure test has a drawing of a box, or a cube, at the top of the page. At the bottom are several other boxes or cubes that are partially drawn, and the child has to pick which partially-drawn box matches the full-drawn one at the top of the page. Visual closure is the ability to close in that space so that you can see that object even though only part of it is actually there.


Results of Visual Closure Deficits


Visual perception has a lot to do with the way our eyes process information. Visual closure deficits can result in language deficits and reading deficits. If we are not able to fill in that space, we are going to have trouble decoding. Those types of higher-level skills have many surface areas that integrate together so that someone can process what they’re seeing correctly.


It’s More Than Just Vision


When we are working with a kiddo who has severe visual processing issues we will often work in conjunction with a developmental optometrist, because we know that they’re probably going to need more detailed vision therapy than we can provide. A developmental optometrist, or someone doing vision therapy, works exclusively on vision, while your OT is working on perhaps 8 different categories such as sensory and motor. Vision is a big part of what we do, but it’s not everything we do; so when we have a child with greater needs we refer out to a vision specialist.


How Quickly We Can Fix a Problem


Clients often ask me, “How quickly can we fix this problem?” This depends on whether you have one visual problem or many, or on whether you have other motor components that are going on. As you can see, this is a difficult question because it depends on how complex each situation is. But while I can’t tell you how long your case might take, I can tell you that we see these kiddos improve significantly with intervention!

Your Next Step



If you have any questions about the TVPS 4 or about visual perception therapy, give us a call or ask your therapist. We’d love to tell you more!

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