top of page
Visual Processing Disorder

Visual processing disorders occur when the brain has trouble making sense of the visual input it receives. They are distinct from visual impairment in that there is no blindness or issue with the functioning of the eyes.

Section 1
Symptoms of Visual Processing Disorders

 In this section, we are going to help you with identifying the symptoms of processing disorders

  • Loss of attention and concentration, easily distractible


  • Daydreaming


  • Poor handwriting, difficulty writing on lines or keeping margins


  • Clumsiness, bumping into things, inability to catch a ball, etc.


  • Difficulty copying information from the board or a book


  • Loses place or skips words when reading


  • Difficulty with similar patterns or shapes and/or similar letters or numbers (e.g., q/p, d/b, 9/6)


  • Blurring of vision during and/or after reading


  • Lack of retention of written material, or visual teaching aids


  • Problem-solving difficulties


  • Headaches


Here is a useful article that introduces the symptoms of visual processing disorders in detail

Dominic. H. et al. (October 22, 2010). Disorders of Visual Perception. Retrieved July 20, 2021, from

Section 2
Treatment for Visual Processing Disorders

It is a hard job to fully cure the disorders, but doing the following thing may be helpful a lot.

  • Beeline Reader: Use Beeline Reader to read ebooks, PDFs, and web pages will assist with tracking.  This free technology makes tracking faster and easier by using a color gradient to guide your eyes from one line of text to another.

  • Play ping pong - but more importantly, watch others play the game.  Sit on the side of the table and keep your head steady.  Watch the ball, moving your eyes back and forth across the table.

  • Get a book but only read the first word and the last word in each line.  Continue down the page. Time yourself and try to beat your speed.  If reading words is slow or labored, just read the first and last letter on each line.

  • Use a laser pointer on a wall and watch the red dot while sweeping it across the wall: go up, down, left, right and diagonally.  

  • Use Apps like Dream Reader which will highlight the words while it reads the text.  You can read along with the excellent synthesized voice options, or if you prefer, read the text yourself and turn off the audio.  Adjust the speed so that words are highlighted while you read.

  • Pick a common letter of the alphabet such as the letter "A."  Select a book, or article and scan through the lines of text as if you are reading, circling the letter "A" every time they see it.  

  • Read aloud.  This helps the eyes and brain to work together.

Section 3
Navigation in School System

Classroom Materials and Routines

  • Post visual schedules, but also say them out loud. 

  • Describe visual presentations aloud and/or provide narration.

  • Build in time to summarize the important information from each lesson.

  • Provide uncluttered handouts with few or no nonessential images.

  • Use a reading guide strip or a blank index card to block out other lines of text while reading.

  • Provide a highlighter to use to highlight information while reading.

  • Provide a slant board (or three-ring binder) to bring work closer to student’s visual field.

  • Use audiobooks or text-to-speech software.

  • Provide wide-ruled paper and darken or highlight lines and margins to help form letters in the right space.

  • Provide graph paper (or lined paper to be used sideways) to help line up math problems.

  • Provide a note-taker or a copy of class notes. 

  • Have loop scissors available to make it easier to control cutting and following a line.

  • Provide colored glue sticks to use on white paper.

  • Use Wikki Stix to create a border for areas to color or glue.

Giving Instructions

  • ​​Say directions and assignments out loud.

  • Clearly space words and problems on a page.

  • Write directions in a different color from the rest of an assignment (or highlight them).

  • Include simple diagrams or images to help clarify written directions.

  • Use highlighting or sticky-note flags to draw attention to important information on worksheets.

  • Allow time for the student to ask questions about directions.

Completing Tests and Assignments

  • Allow oral reporting instead of written responses.

  • Allow the student to submit answers on a separate sheet of paper rather than on fitting them into small spaces.

  • Reduce visual distractions by folding a test or using blank pieces of paper to cover up part of the page.

  • Provide extended time on tests.

  • Provide a quiet room for tests if needed.

Section 4
Video Resources

what is visual processing disorder? 

Treatment for visual processing disorder?  

bottom of page