Visual skills help the brain procure information about its surroundings. Visual skills include, but are not limited to, binocular fusion (the ability to form a unified image from the two eyes), accommodative facility (the ability to re-focus rapidly from far to near and back again), and saccadic tracking (the ability to move the eyes rapidly and accurately from one word or phrase to the next). A person, who is “20/20,” with excellent visual acuity, can have deficient visual skills, because skills are not closely correlated with acuity. Current research suggests that good visual skills, which must be learned, correlate with superior academic performance
Visual skills can be divided to into two main categories: visual perceptual motor skills and ocular motor skills. Many of these visual skills are developed post-natally and often involve processing visual (sight) and other sensory input.
Visual Perceptual Motor Skills
Visual perceptual motor skills involve processing and using visual information. These skills also help with planning and guiding eye/body movements.
- Visual memory (Example: Recall visual information in chunks or in spatial/temporal sequence)
- Visual spatial (Example: Mapping locations, direction concepts)
- Visual analysis (Example: Matching, discriminating, identifying)
- Visual motor integration (Example: Hand-eye coordination, visually guided mobility)
- Visual auditory integration (Example: Matching sounds with image or symbol, decoding & encoding auditory to visual information)
- Visualization (Example: Manipulation – can imagine flips & rotations or image, other)
Ocular Motor Skills
Ocular motor skills include control of eye movements, fixations (looking at something at specific location in space) and focus.
- Eye teaming (Vergence – convergence, divergence)
- Eye focusing (Accommodation)
- Eye movements & tracking
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