The Visual System is self explanatory- our ability to use our sense of sight to see, observe, and make connections. However, we aren’t always taught the importance our vision plays in our body’s ability to feel in control and centered.

The Visual system can be defined as our bodies’ ability to make sense of the world using our sense of sight. It is our bodies’ way of taking in information about our surrounding to help us figure out if they are safe, harmful and even whether they are important to notice or not. It includes the little thing we take for granted such as; choosing the correct coloured shirt to wear for the day, finding our set of pajamas in the pajama drawer, tracking the teacher as she walks around the room. All of these things require us to use our sense of vision to be successful day to day.

Without a regulated visual system , we are unable to focus on the important details that help us understand the world around us and the environment we are in.

The ability for our brain to process visual input is not just about sight and seeing colors, shapes and sizes, but about processing the visual environment surrounding us. This is known as Visual Processing. All children require this visual processing awareness and input for proper development. Visual processing is responsible for skill acquisition on varying levels such as letter/number recognition, peripheral vision, spatial relationships knowing where our body is positioned in space, hand/eye coordination, reading and attention to detail.

Problems occur with visual processing when a child is either over or under responsive to receiving information from this system.

Visual Over responsive behaviours are:

  • Covers eyes,
  • Avoids bright lights
  • Scared of moving objects
  • Frequent headaches, dizziness or nausea when using sight
  • Seems clumsy and unaware of sight path
  • Unable to determine distance
  • Rubs eyes

Visual under responsive behaviours are:

  • Stares at bright lights
  • Stares at moving objects
  • Moves and shakes head during writing or fine motor activities
  • Holds items close to their face for inspection
  • Frequently loses the place on the page
  • Seems unaware of new people entering a room


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