Occupational Therapy and Visual Processing


Often parents struggle to understand that their child has difficulty with visual processing when their child has 20/20 vision and they can see great. This is not a typical area that an eye doctor would test. There is a big difference between visual acuity and your visual processing ability. Below we have provided the different areas of vision to further explain. We as occupational therapists can directly target these areas during your child’s treatment sessions as this is a specialty area we have been trained in. Having deficits in these areas can impact your child’s performance in many areas including handwriting, Self-care skills, playing with peers, household chores, school performance, fine motor skills, reading, craft activities, playing games, etc.


Visual Acuity


This is how clearly and precisely you are able to view images. An ophthalmologist or optometrist will be the one to work directly with your child to address this area.


Oculomotor skills


This is how the muscles in the eyes move and work together.

This can affect your child’s ability to copy from the board during school, reading, handwriting, and play skills. This is an area that your occupational therapist can address.


Visual perception


How your brain and eyes work together to perceive and understand what they are viewing.

This can impact all areas including, handwriting, dressing, play skills, household chores, etc. This is something that we as OTs can address directly during treatment.

Please reach out to us if you have any further questions about vision and how we can help your child with their visual processing needs.


Tip of the Month by Rachel Massie, COTA

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