What is visual perception?

It is the process that helps the brain to understand what the eyes see. It is different to visual acuity which merely measures sight.

Visual Discrimination

Using the sense of sight to notice and compare the features of different things so as to distinguish one from another, to recognise what is the same and what is different, and to identify letters, shapes, numbers and objects.

Important for reading, spelling and maths

Visual Memory

The ability to remember what the eyes have seen. There are two kinds of visual memory – long-term and short-term – remembering what was seen a long time ago and remembering something that was seen recently. It involves remembering things like shape, size, colour and sequence.

Important for reading and writing

Visual Figure Ground Discrimination

The ability to focus on a particular object or detail while others fade into a busy background.

Important for reading and maths.

Visual Sequencing

The ability to arrange objects, pictures, shapes, letters and numbers in a logical order.

Important for reading, writing and maths.

Part/Whole Relationships

The ability to break a whole object into its parts and to then put them back together again.

Important for reading, spelling and maths.

Visual Closure

The ability to know what an object is when only a part of it is visible

What is auditory perception?

It is the process whereby the brain makes sense of the messages it receives through the ears.

Auditory Discrimination

Using the sense of hearing to identify what is the same and what is different in sound and noise.

Auditory memory

The ability to remember what the ears have heard – long term and short term.

Important for all learning.

Auditory Figure Ground Discrimination

The ability to isolate a particular sound from a noisy background.

Important for listening and concentration

Auditory sequencing

The ability to recall what was heard in the same sequence in which it was heard.

Important for all learning especially spelling and arithmetic

What is tactile perception?

It is the ability to differentiate differences and similarities by touching and feeling. It supports what we have learned through seeing and hearing.

Eye-hand coordination

Also referred to as Visual Motor Integration

The ability to guide one’s hands visually through space to achieve a particular task.

Fine motor control

The ability to use the small muscles of the hand, wrist, fingers, toes, lips and tongue in a controlled way to execute a precise task. Used with the sense of sight in eye-hand co-ordination.

Spatial Relations

The ability to understand how objects are positioned in space in relation to oneself and one another.

Crossing the mid-line

The ability to reach across the middle of the body with arms, legs and eyes.


The ability to focus on a particular thing or activity whilst ignoring others


To arrange objects into groups based on certain characteristics – ways that they are alike , using logical reasoning.

Association Objects that can be paired or grouped together by virtue of the fact that they fit together eg. sock and shoe, hand and glove, dog and kennel

One-to-One Correspondence

The ability to match one object to one other object or number.

Semi-concrete activity

Always work with concrete material initially – the doing stage and then progress to the semi-concrete which is the seeing stage where pictures or other representations are used