Visual Integration Skills
One of the visual skills in Visual Perceptual Processing. This
processing ability allows you to integrate information with your other senses
or with other visual information.
If you haven't read the first two pages on visual skills, please
click here. This part will make much more sense
if you start at the beginning.
integration is what happens when several visual skills integrate together.
If you looked at a new word and then matched it with an image in your mind to help better recall
what the word means, this would be an example of visual-visual integration.
for example, if you looked at the word "siamese," and you saw a picture
of that type of cat in your mind, you would be integrating visual input with visualization.
motor integration (VMI) consists of coordinating visual perceptual skills together
with gross-motor movement and fine-motor movement. It is the ability to integrate
visual input with motor output. This is how individuals plan, execute and monitor motor
tasks, such as threading a needle, tying shoe laces, catching or hitting a ball.
It is also essential in academic performance.
This is commonly referred to as Eye-Hand Coordination.
In the example below, we can look at how you are coordinating your vision with how you move your pencil. Basically, are you visually guiding your pencil to accurately represent what you see.
Look at the picture below:
Now draw the picture exactly as you see it below:
Children with known learning disabilities have a high prevelancy
of VMI deficiencies. In one study, out of 51 LD elementary students, 85% of
them were correctly identified as being learning disabled by finding problems
in this area.
VMI problems affect IQ scores, suggesting that perceptual and
cognitive skills necessary for good VMI are generalized.
VMI also correlates well with math skills, especially in the
lower grades from kindergarten to second grade!
Children with poor VMI skills have a difficult time on written
assignments and tests, erase excessively, show poor penmanship, and do not do
well when copying down information. These same children often seem to perform
better when answering aloud and can verbalize that they know the material they
are being tested on, but seem to test poorly on that same material when writing
is required. Not a good thing when you are taking standardized tests.
Signs & Symptoms of Visual-Motor Integration Dysfunction
- Sloppy writing or drawing skills
- Can't stay on or in the lines
- Erases excessively
- Poor organization
- Does not recognize mistakes
- Close working distance
- Poor posture when writing
- Excessive or inadequate pencil grip
- Trouble aligning numbers in columns for math problems
- Can't get answers on paper
- Tests poorly even if they know the subject
VMI problems can be called developmental apraxia, graphomotor dyscoordination,
visual-perceptual-motor dysfunction, and non-verbal LD syndrome.
Visual-auditory integration require linking together visual information
with information heard. Abilities such as seeing a word and saying it aloud, or hearing a word and writing it down, are examples of visual-auditory integration.
Research shows that the organization of visual skills important in processing peripheral space and motion information is negatively affected by deficiencies in the auditory system. Improvement in visual-auditory integration
has a positive effect on many areas of visual and auditory function.
Problems in this area are common in people with learning problems
and with poor readers. It significantly correlates with reading achievement
in elementary school between second grade and sixth grade.
Auditory skills are very similar to vision and include the following:
- Intersensory (example: auditory-verbal)
Deficits in this area often lead to poor spelling even with rigorous
studying, matching sounds
to letters and sounding out words is challenging, and reading speed is extremely slow. During
reading, a child with visual-auditory problems may subvocalize ( move their mouth) during reading and often need to be given directions
over and over.
Signs & Symptoms of Auditory-Visual Integration Problems
- Needs to have directions repeated all the time
- Poor spelling ability
- Trouble learning to read phonetically
- Difficulty relating symbols to their relevant sounds (Example: The
"ah" sound is not recognized as relating to the letter "a")