Question: Why did we a build a reading program that put a strong emphasis on visual processing skills?
Answer: Visual processing skills are the fundamental skills needed to become a proficient reader. In learning centers and schools across the world, visual processing tests are administered to determine a child’s abilities, yet there were no structured programs that helped train a child if the scores turned out to be low.
Voila! U CAN CONNECT was born!
Unfortunately children don’t begin reading by instantly decoding sounds and acquiring sight vocabulary. They move through predictable phases of recognizing letters, recalling their sounds, and then understanding that when the sounds are blended together, these are words. Words carry meaning and when combined into sentences, a story is build.
But, there are other areas that silently play into being a good reader – visual processing skills that we take for granted because they just seem to happen for most of us.
There are many visual processing skills that affect reading and all of the learning situations.
Visual Discrimination uses the sense of sight to notice and compare the features of different items to distinguish one item from another as in letters and then words in a sentence. Children with poor visual discrimination have a hard time seeing the difference between two similar letters, shapes or objects. This affects the speed to learn new words and spelling skills.
Visual processing speed is the ability to recognize numbers, letters and words quickly, an important factor in good reading fluency. Research shows that children with high visual processing speeds are faster readers than children with low processing speeds.
Visual sequential memory ability is the ability to determine or remember the order of symbols, words, or objects. This skill is particularly important for spelling. A child who struggles with visual sequencing may leave out, add or switch around letters within words. Recognizing and remembering patterns may also prove difficult.
Visual memory means that students must be able to look at a word, form an image of that word in their minds, and be able to recall the appearance of the word later. Once the word is erased or out of sight, students with good visual memory will recognize that same word later in their readers or other texts and will be able to recall the appearance of the word to spell it.
Visual closure is the ability to visualize a complete whole when given incomplete information or a partial picture. This skill helps children read and comprehend quickly. Children with poor visual closure also may have difficulty completing a thought or making an accurate judgment from partial information. In reading, they may confuse similar objects or words, especially words with close beginning or endings. This skill is an essential skill for fluency and speed in reading and spelling.
And that’s why we decided to build a visual and auditory processing reading program!