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Why does my child need a Visual Perceptual Assessment?

All children develop at different rates. It is expected however that at different ages your child will have learnt and developed a repertoire of certain visual motor and visual perceptual skills. For example, by the time your child is one, he or she should have learnt to walk, or by 2 ½ learnt to speak and communicate. Likewise, by the time your child is 6 ½ -7, they should have learnt their rights from their lefts (no reversals) and have developed reasonable good reading eye movement skills (not missing words or letters). If your child has not developed the appropriate skills by the appropriate age, then their visual performance in the classroom may be affected. Your child may be asked to do things (eg learn to read) which they are not developmentally ready to do. A developmental and visual perceptual assessment will discover whether your child’s current visual motor and perceptual skills are at the expected level for their age.

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If your child requires a visual perception assessment the optometrist will schedule a suitable appointment time. This appointment will last up to 1 ½ hours. We recommend that you arrange a morning appointment when your child is most alert. It is preferable not to have their brothers or sisters with you at the assessment

During the visual perception assessment we will explore vision-related learning skills. These skills form part of the foundations necessary for learning at school. They include:

  • Visual spatial skills
  • Visual analysis skills
  • Visual motor skills
  • Visual auditory integration
  • Eye movement skills

At the conclusion of the assessment the optometrist will provide you with a written report detailing:

  • Specific tests performed and their importance to learning
  • Your child’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Any recommendations for further assessment or management

Further management may include optometric vision therapy (which is conducted on-site), occupational therapy, remedial assistance at school or referral to other health care providers.

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