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Your child struggles in writing?

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Does your child have issues in writing? Is he/she struggling in copying?

And do you know visual perception skills are part of writing?

Let’s take a look here on what it is and how to help our children with this issue.


What is Visual Perception?

Visual perception is the ability to make sense of our surroundings through what our eyes see. This is not the same as visual acuity (which is a measure of how well you can see), as a child with 20/20 vision can also have issues with their visual perception.

Visual perception is very important in many school activities such as reading, writing, cutting, drawing, doing puzzles and solving mathematical questions.

What is Handwriting?

Handwriting is one of the complex skills children need. It requires the ability to form letters with consistent letter size, proportions and spacing so that others can read words and sentences.

Visual Perceptual & Handwriting

Legible writing requires complex visual perceptual skills and integration of motor skills with these visual perceptual skills. There are many components of visual processing which work together to assign meaning to what we see and include visual attention, figure ground, visual discrimination, form constancy, visual memory and visual-sequential memory.


  • Visual Attention

    • The ability in obtaining visual information and communicating that information with the brain. This collection of information requires several eye mobility skills including: voluntary eye movements, visual fixation, smooth pursuits (or visual tracking) and visual scanning.

  • Visual Discrimination

    • The ability to distinguish one shape from another shape. Eg: distinguishing ‘b’ and ‘d’, ‘p’ and ‘b’, etc. It will help in learning the different types of alphabets and numbers. Difficulty in visual discrimination can be seen when a child gets confused with the use of lower and upper case letters.

  • Visual Memory

    • Allows us to remember a specific form or shape after it is out of our sight. This skill will help in learning how to write the alphabets, numbers and words by recalling how the alphabets and numbers look like.

Instructions: Look at the shapes located in the top box. Then, cover up the top box and circle the shapes you remember in the bottom box.Visual Spatial Relationship'

  • Visual Spatial Relationship

    • This ability involves the ability to process information about oneself in relation with their environment in space, orientation and position. Children with visual spatial difficulties also demonstrate difficulty with writing on a line, adequate spacing between letters or words. They may have difficulty ruling up a page and maintaining writing on the left hand side of the page with the beginning of each line.

  • Visual Sequential-Memory

    • Similar to visual memory, but it also helps us to remember the sequence of items, which will help in learning the sequence of the alphabets, numbers or learning how to spell.

Instructions: Look at the letters located in the left box. Then, cover up the left box and write letters you remember in the right box.Visual Figure ground

  • Visual Figure Ground

    • The skill that allows us to find forms when it is camouflaged or partially hidden (eg: Hidden pictures, Where’s Waldo?). In handwriting, this is needed when copying information from a source (eg. the whiteboard) and keeping track of where you are up to. Children with figure-ground difficulties may begin writing on a line and then after looking up do not know where they should write the next letter on their page. They may also miss important information or segments of a letter or a word when writing.

  • Visual Form Constancy

    • This is the ability to distinguish one object from another similar object (eg: ‘b’ and ‘d’, ‘3’ and ‘8’). In handwriting this may result in not realizing when they are having difficulty with letter formation as they may interpret their formation as accurate.

  • Visual Closure

    • The ability to recognize familiar forms or shapes that are only partially completed. In handwriting, this may affect letter formation and spelling words. Children may also demonstrate incomplete letter formation which affects handwriting legibility and neatness.


  • Connect The Dots

  • Picture Drawing: Symmetrical drawing

  • Graph Paper

  • Copying From Board

  • Eliminate Visual Distractions

  • Keep Worksheet Clean and Simple

  • Break Activity Into Small Tasks

  • Find hidden pictures

  • Find the difference puzzles

  • Matching uppercase to lowercase letters

  • Multisensory approach

    • Draw letters or numbers on sand or rice on tray

  • Memory games

    • Eg: showing an image or letters/words for 1 min, hide it and have your child tell you as much as they can of what they saw

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