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Category Archives: visual discrimination

My Child is Careless – Visual Skills (Visual Discrimination)

Visual skills are important as it can affect an individual’s ability to excel in reading, learning, sports, and in day-to-day activities. We will be touching on one component: Visual Discrimination.

Visual discrimination is a component of visual skills. It is the ability of the individual to distinguish and identify subtle differences, be it in words, shapes, size or patterns or colours. Another easier explanation is how attentive an individual is to details.

Continue reading My Child is Careless – Visual Skills (Visual Discrimination)

Eyes are the window to learning

I’m sure most of us have heard of our eyes being the window to our soul. But did you also know that our eyes are the window to learning? 80% of a child’s learning comes through the eyes (Prairie Vision Center, n.d.). That is to say, the majority of us learn by looking.

Reading is a task that relies heavily on visual skills. Children would need good visual skills to be able to read though a long passage at the same time understanding the information presented.

Answering Math questions relies on visual skills too. Being able to read 6 + 2 as 6 +2 and not 9 + 2 requires the ability to discriminate between numbers. Problem sums is an area in Math that requires the child to read and comprehend the question before being able to answer them. Many times, children dread this component because lack adequate visual skills.

Learning Chinese characters requires a great deal of visual skills to be able to discriminate between similar characters. To understand a Chinese passage and to answer comprehension questions accurately, the child has to first be equipped with visual skills that would help him/her “get pass” the chunk of Chinese words.

In Science, we learn to classify things around us. Classification can only take place when the child knows the properties or characteristics of the things. For example, reptiles are distinguished by their dry scaly skin while birds have feathers. Children have to see the skin textures to understand what “dry scaly skin” is like.

Suffice to say, visual skills are very important for learning.

Therefore, before we start drilling more books and such to improve reading skills, you might consider practicing visual skills.

We have compiled a list of activities and resources (found online) that would help to improve your child’s visual skills.


  • Line Tracking (Similar activity can be carried out by drawing the lines for your child)
  • Flitting Butterfly (Do this activity for no more than 3 minutes. You can challenge your child by adding 10 seconds after each session, starting with 30 seconds)
  • Maze Craze (An interactive activity that teaches Science and uses visual skills)
  • Letter Match (Suitable for younger children, aged 5 to 6, to learn to discriminate between letters)


  • Learning how to draw (Learning to draw by following step by step instructions help to improve the child’s visual skills)

Hope you would find these useful!

Why Won’t My Child Read?!

The benefits of reading are many. Try keying into the search bar “benefits of reading” and you would see an A-Z list of why children should cultivate a reading habit. But the truth is, not all children enjoy reading as much as we want them to. Some would flip the pages just to humor us, some would only look at the pictures while others go all out to avoid anything with chunky texts. While it may seem that these behaviours suggest a pure disinterest in reading, it is more often than not, the inability to understand what is presented.
Visual Discrimination is the ability to identify differences in information presented visually. Children who are weaker in this skill tend to be unable to distinguish similar letters and numbers such as “b” from “d”, “p” from “q”, “6” from “9” and so on. When presented with a paragraph like this:

“In the morning Abby jumped out of bed and switched on the light in her fish tank. It took Abby a while to find Mr. Sticky because he was clinging to the glass near the bottom, right next to the gravel.”

The child would tend to misread “bed” as “deb”, “bottom” as “dottom” and so on. Children who are weaker in this skill may be able to answer when asked, “What is three plus one” verbally, but he/she may have difficulties doing the same exact question in a math worksheet.

This inability to identify the differences and understand the words would often result in confusion (misinterpreting or misunderstanding instructions), which would contribute to self-doubt and frustration (getting questions wrong as a result of not understanding instructions). If this skill is not strengthened, the child would eventually develop a hesitancy to attempt to read or answer questions.
Apart from being related to reading and mathematics, visual discrimination also plays a role in social interactions, whereby the child is able to identify and interpret subtleties in facial expressions and respond appropriately.
Therefore, the child’s disinterest in reading is merely a behavioural manifestation for the inability to understand what he/she is reading. When children are able to understand what they are reading, they would be motivated to read extensively and would even develop an interest to read (without you asking them to!).
To find out about your child’s Visual Discrimination ability, REGISTER for our Complimentary Learning Assessment.

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