Visual Motor & Visual Perception

Visual Motor & Visual Perception

Visual perceptual skills enable a person to make sense and interpret what they are seeing.  Some of these skills include:

  • Visual discrimination: matching two objects that are the same
  • Visual memory: being able to remember visual information
  • Figure ground: finding an object when hidden in a busy/distracting background
  • Form constancy: noticing when more than one objects are the same or different in color, shape, size, etc.
  • Visual closure: identifying when objects are the same, even if part of the object is missing or not closed

Visual motor skills enable a person to coordinate their eyes and hands to complete fine motor dexterity tasks, such as handwriting, drawing, eating, cooking, etc.  If a person has difficulty with visual motor coordination or visual perceptual skills, they may struggle with copying shapes or words, handwriting, reading, meal preparation, feeding oneself, dressing, and recreational activities.  Numerous activities rely on visual perceptual abilities: separating objects from their surroundings –letters and words when reading/writing, driving skills—judging distance between vehicles and speed of moving objects, and moving through space—judging distance and other objects in surroundings.

Using standardized tools and assessments to determine areas of concern, occupational therapists can use treatment sessions and home programs to help clients develop visual perceptual and motor skills to promote optimal performance in daily routines and functional tasks.  Therapists can help clients improve their abilities at home, at school/work, and in the community.