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Visual processing issues

Visual Processing Issues: What You’re Seeing in Your Grade-Schooler

By Beth Arky

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Academics begin to take center stage in grade school. Kids with visual processing issues may have trouble keeping up. The following characteristics are typical of visual processing issues but could also be signs of other issues, like dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia.

307Found this helpful
Visual Processing Issues: What You’re Seeing in Your Grade-Schooler

Schoolwork ramps up in grade school. This can make signs of visual processing issues more apparent. Do your best to keep track of what you’re seeing. If you’re concerned, you may want to speak with your child’s doctor or teachers.

Has Lots of Difficulty Writing
At home: Your child has messy handwriting and struggles to write on a line.
At school: Your child has difficulty copying notes off the board.
The issue: Visual processing issues can cause trouble with visual-motor skills. This means kids have trouble coordinating what their eyes see with body movements.

Seems to Be “All Thumbs”
At home: Your child still needs help cutting food or buttoning and zipping clothes.
At school: Your child has trouble with all kinds of art projects.
The issue: Kids with visual processing issues may struggle with activities that use fine motor skills, like moving small muscles in the hands.

Has Trouble Reading
At home: Your child complains about getting tired when he’s reading.
At school: Your child loses his place when reading aloud.
The issue: Kids with visual processing issues can mix up letters and struggle with word order. Visual processing issues aren’t the same as dyslexia, but they share some signs.

Doesn’t Seem to Get Math
At home: Your child copies numbers wrong, even when writing his address.
At school: Your child confuses the plus and minus signs.
The issue: Kids with visual processing issues may have trouble distinguishing the order of symbols.
Graphic of Visual processing issues: What you're seeing in your grade-schooler
Graphic of Visual processing issues: What you're seeing in your grade-schooler

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About the Author

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Portrait of Sheldon Horowitz

Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D., is senior director of learning resources and research at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

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