While the process of vision is very complicated, it can be broken down into two major components: Visual intake and visual processing (or perception). Visual intake refers to that which has been covered in the other subsections of the children's vision tabs. It is what a traditional eye examination explores. Visual perception on the other hand is what the brain does with the information once it is received from the eyes. Visual perception can be further broken down into the following areas:
Visual Discrimination: the ability to distinguish similarities and differences between objects such as letters or shapes. In reading, this skill helps children distinguish between similarly spelled words, such as was/saw, then/when or run/ran.
Visual Sequencing: the ability to determine or remember the order of symbols, words or objects. This skill is very important for spelling. A child with a problem with sequencing may add, omit or switch letters within words. He or she may subvocalize (whisper or talk aloud) while writing. Recognizing and remembering patterns may prove difficult.
Figure-Ground: the ability to locate a single object within a complex background. This skill helps children from getting lost in details. A child with poor figure-ground becomes easily confused with too much print on the page, affecting his or her concentration and attention. He or she may also have difficulty scanning text to locate specific information.
Visual-Motor Processing: using feedback from the eyes to coordinate movement of the other parts of the body.
Visual Memory: the ability to recall what is seen. This skill helps children remember what they read and see by processing information through their short-term memory and filter that information into their long-term memory. Children with poor visual memory may struggle with comprehension. They often subvocalize, or softly whisper to themselves, as they read in order to help auditory compensation. They may have difficulty remembering what a word looks like or fail to recognize the same word on a different page. They may also take longer copying assignments because they must frequently review the text.
Visual Closure: the ability to know what an object is when only parts of it are visible. This skill helps children read and comprehend; their eyes do not have to individually process every letter in a word for them to quickly recognize the word by sight. This skill can also help children recognize inferences and predict outcomes. Children with poor visual closure may have difficulty completing a thought. They may also confuse similar objects or words, especially words with close beginnings or endings.
Visual Spatial Relationships: understanding the position and relationship of objects to oneself and knowing right and left. Improving these skills improves laterality and directionality. This skill helps children in understanding relationships and recognizing underlying concepts, and is closely related to the problem solving and conceptual skills required for higher-level science and math.
Visual Form Constancy: the ability to mentally manipulate forms and visualize the resulting outcomes. This skill helps children distinguish differences in size, shape and orientation. Children with poor form-constancy may frequently reverse letters and numbers. This impedes the ability to learn the alphabet, recognize words, and the understanding of basic math concepts.