What is visual perceptual abilities?


These skills are necessary to interpret / analyse / understand seen information.

These skills are the building blocks for reading, writing and maths.


The ability to focus on 1 letter / number / object while not being confused by the surrounding / background information.

*Kids who struggle with this ‘steals’ words / letters from other sentences / words and add it to the word / sentence they are busy reading.  They also find it difficult to find specific letters / words / numbers on a page.

Spatial orientation

This consists of 2 parts:  position in space and spatial relationships.

Position in space describes your body’s position in relation to an object.  This assists a child to see if an object is standing up straight / pointing to the left / lying flat / etc. 

*Kids that struggle will write 9 as 6 or confuses b / d / p.

Spatial relationships described 2 objects’ position in relation to each other

*Kids who has difficulty with this will write 13 as 31 or ou as uo

Form constancy

The ability to maintain the form constancy of a letter / shape / object / number even if the size / direction /colour changes.

*Kids with this problem will struggle to read different types of fonts / hand writing and to copy writing from the black board / text book.  They will confuse letters / numbers looking almost the same e.g. a / d, u/ a, m / n, 2 / 5


The ability to form a whole picture / word when only parts are seen.  E.g. reading sight words / doing dot-to-dot activities / building puzzles.


This is the ability to match an object / letter / number / figure to another looking exactly the same or to see small difference in pictures / word / letters e.g. the difference between saw / was.

*Kids with an impairment here will struggle to find words / numbers that are the same, reading difficulty e.g. reading was as saw, problems finding the differences in pictures looking almost the same.


This is the ability to recall information, which was seen, after a few seconds.

*Kids with a limitation here will  struggle to copy work from the black board / to recall objects that they have seen / struggle with comprehension / difficulty remembering what a word looks like / fail to recognize the same word on another page

Consecutive memory

 This is the ability to recall letters / numbers / objects in the correct order.

*Kids that struggle with this will find it problematic to copy words / sentences / numbers correctly from the blackboard / omits letters / writes additions to words / transposition of letters occur / has difficulty recognizing and remembering patterns / struggles with spelling

Occupational therapists use a standardized test called TVPS (Test of Visual Perceptual Skills) to determine if a child has limitations with her visual perceptual skills and then to determine with which specific visual perceptual skill there is a problem.

When this problem is identified when a child is still young, it is usually easy to address by attending occupational therapy sessions.

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