The Essential Visual Skills Your Child Needs To Read

There is so much more to your vision than being able to see small letters on a chart on the other side of the room. When we read, we are engaging a huge variety of visual and motor skills.

There are at least 19 different visual skills that all come together to allow us to read, learn and many other tasks such as playing sports or using a computer or device:

Some of these skills are as follows:

 1  Eye Movement Control   The ability to move both eyes together to point at an intended target or follow along a path, like a line of text
 2  Simultaneous Focus at Far  Forming a clear image of something in the distance
 3  Sustaining Focus at Far  Keeping a clear image of something in the distance
 4  Simultaneous Focus at Near  Forming a clear image of something close to the eyes such as the words on the page
 5  Sustaining Focus at Near  Keeping a clear image of something close to the eyes
 6  Simultaneous Alignment at Far  Lining up both eyes at the same point the distance
 7  Sustaining Alignment at Far  Holding both eyes lined up at the same point in the distance
 8  Simultaneous Alignment at Near Lining up both eyes at the same point up close
 9  Sustaining Alignment at Near  Holding both eyes lined up at the same point up close
 10  Central Vision (Visual Acuity)  This is where “20/20” vision comes in!
 11  Peripheral Vision  Being able to see what’s on either side of you while your eyes are pointed forward
 12  Depth Awareness  Being able to tell that things are further away or closer up than each other (also know as depth perception)
 13  Color Perception  Being able to tell different colours apart (if you are not colour-blind)
 14  Gross Visual-Motor  Moving yourself through space without bumping into things by using information from your vision
 15  Fine Visual-Motor Writing, sewing, texting, and doing other small and close-up activities with accuracy by using information from  your vision
 16  Visual Perception  Being aware of your environment and what is going on around you in your visual field (the area you can see)
 17  Visual Integration  Bringing together your vision and your other senses to accomplish complex tasks, like reading while walking a balance beam
18  Visual Discrimination Being able to identify small differences visual information, such as identifying letters or small words 
19  Midline Crossing/Bilateral integration The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice-versa for the left of the brain. The brain needs to coordinate both sides of the brain to read from one side of the page to the other and to play sports

About the Author Bhavin Shah

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