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Visual Spatial Skills

Visual-spatial skills are used to understand directional concepts which organise our visual space such as left and right, and influences letter and number reversals. Visual spatial skills help us with letter reversals. Some people considered letter reversals after age seven to be a symptom of dyslexia. While this can be true, the most common cause of reversals in older children is a lack of visual spatial development.

What is visual spatial orientation?

Visual spatial orientation is the awareness of one’s left and right, their position in relation to other objects as well as the location of objects relative to each other. Visual spatial orientation normally develops through a child’s interaction with their environment and can be categorised as bilateral integration, laterality, and directionality.

Bilateral integration

Bilateral integration is the awareness of both sides of the body and being able to use both sides separately and together in unilateral and bilateral combinations. i.e., Freestyle swimming, jumping jacks etc.


Laterality is the knowledge of one’s internal representation of their right and left i.e., which is my right hand?


Directionality is the external understanding of other people/objects right and left. i.e., which is your right hand?

Symptoms of visual spatial orientation difficulty


  •         Delayed development of gross motor skills
  •         Decreased coordination of balance, and ball-playing skills.
  •         Confusion of right and left.
  •         Letter reversal errors when writing or reading.
  •         Inconsistent hand dominance (right-hand dominant or left-hand dominant?)
  •         Difficulty in tasks requiring crossing the midline of the body.
  •         Poor organisation on the page.
  •         Inconsistent spacing between letters/words.
  •         Inconsistent sizing of letters


At Bayside Eyecare, our behavioural optometrist can assess your child’s visual spatial skills and determine if they are appropriately developed for age. Vision therapy is a tool that our practitioners use to develop visual spatial skills. You can get in contact with our friendly team by calling (03) 9909 5329 or complete our online form.