Visual Perception

Visual Perception Explained

Many of us might have a sense of what visual perception is, but what does it really encompass? Visual perceptual skills refer to how individuals interpret the information that they see every day. If your child receives occupational therapy services, they may be working towards a goal that targets visual perception. Good visual perception is required to help kids do well with school tasks such as reading, writing, and math, and to help them complete everyday activities.

In the world of visual perception, there are a variety of different skills. Below are the definitions of the different types of visual perceptual skills:

  • Visual Discrimination: the ability to tell the difference between different objects, images, etc. (for example, being able to recognize the difference between a quarter and a nickel). 

  • Form Constancy: the ability to see an object or form and finding it among others, even if it’s rotated or changed to a different size or color. 

  • Visual Closure: the ability to fill in the missing details of an incomplete image; or visualizing the whole of a form when only partial information is given (for example, realizing there is a book on the desk when it is partially covered by papers. 

  • Visual Figure Ground: The ability to perceive a form and find it within a busy background (for example, finding an item in a junk drawer)

  • Visual Memory: The ability to recall details of an image or picture after it is taken away

  • Visual Spatial Relations: The ability to determine if an image is rotated or facing in a different direction in comparison to others

Lucky for you, there are lots of games and easily accessible items that can help target visual perceptual skills. Below is a list of some of our favorite games and activities that you can do with your child to help improve these skills:

  • Hidden Pictures

  • Jigsaw puzzles

  • I Spy

  • Tangrams

  • Spot it!

  • Sorting activities

  • Spot the difference

  • Memory matching games

  • Card games

  • Lego sets

  • Color by number

  • Uno

  • How to draw activities

Written by Laura Tarone MS OTR/L