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Visual Information Processing (VIP Skills)

Visual Information Processing (also known as Visual Perception) is mainly focused on vision that occurs in the brain. That is, looking at the way the brain interprets and attributes meaning to everything it's exposed to throughout the day.

Visual information processing involves the automatic recognition of symbols, letter and objects based on past experiences and exposure. It also involves being able to quickly process directions and navigate space around us.


When there is miscommunication between that way the eyes view the world and the way the brain perceives it, this will impact a persons learning potential. Depending on the age in which this miscommunication occurs a learning difficulty can develop.

If a child is having difficulty learning to read, write and store information it's highly likely they've experienced inadequate visual development. This often occurs in children below the age of 12 years old.

Often parents will arrange private tutoring for their child as a way to help them 'catch up' to the rest of the class. While the extra support is beneficial in many ways, it's important that any underlying information processing difficulties have been ruled out first, to ensure tutoring will be most effective. (imagine trying to fill a bucket with water, if there were small holes in the bucket).

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Examples of VIP Skills used on a daily basis:

  • Reading 

    • ​recognizing words on a page regardless of size & font used.

    • ability to differentiate between similar words: was/saw, on/no etc

  • Writing

    • correct orientation of letters and numbers, especially b, d, p, q, e, 2, 3, 7, 5, 9

  • Puzzles

    • recognizing an image/object when part is missing

  • Maths / Problem Solving

    • differentiating between maths symbols +, -, x

    • visualizing a problem/scenario

    • recalling timetables

  • Coordination

    • understanding directions, and able to use both hands to catch a ball and cross the mid-line of their body

What is a breakdown in VIP Skills?


When we start to suspect a breakdown in these Visual Information Processing (VIP) Skills, parents and teachers are instrumental in identifying problems with learning, reading, writing, homework completion, handwriting and memory.

Some of the most common signs & symptoms parents/teachers notice about the child include:

  • Fidgets frequently, moves around in their chair and reaches for objects and people they are not supposed to.

  • Needs to have instructions repeated a few times.

  • Reverses letters and numbers when writing.

  • Confuses left and right

  • Forgets the alphabet in sequence. 

  • Has poor posture with writing, including hunched over their desks and messy writing.

  • Mistake words with similar beginnings.

  • Cannot decode words with phonics blends.

  • Very smart verbally, but struggles with written tasks.

Download our FREE VIP checklist to see if your child will benefit from an assessment

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