This is the third installment in our Sensory Spotlight series.
The visual system is responsible for the body’s sense of sight. It allows us to perceive variations in the size, shape, color, and brightness of objects. It also helps us gauge the distance and speed of objects and determine where we should focus our attention. Children with visual processing issues may crave screen time or become overwhelmed in bright, busy environments. You can read more about how the visual system works on the STAR Institute’s website.
See below for a quick guide on identifying visual seeking, avoiding, and discrimination issues in children.
Visual Seekers May:
- Seek bright or busy environments.
- Prefer toys with bright, reflective, or shiny surfaces.
- Be distracted by objects with spinning, flashing, or moving lights.
- Insist on clothing and toys with specific shapes, colors, and patterns.
- Crave screen time and prefer stimulating movies and games.
Visual Avoiders May:
- Seek out dark or secluded environments.
- Avoid messy rooms and busy, crowded spaces.
- Frequently cover their eyes or hide their heads under pillows or clothing.
- React strongly or as if in pain to bright, strobing, or fluorescent light.
- Perceive dim, normal, or natural as much brighter than it actually is.
- Be bothered or distracted by objects with bright, reflective, or shiny surfaces.
- Be bothered or distracted by objects with spinning, flashing, or moving lights
- Prefer clothing and toys with muted and simple shapes, colors, and patterns.
Those with Visual Discrimination Disorder May:
- Have difficulty distinguishing between letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Be slow to recognize characteristics of objects, such as size, shape, or color.
- Be unable to judge the distance between people and other objects.
- Have difficulty reading the facial expressions and emotional cues of others.