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Early Visual Skills

by Diane Williams, MSc

This resource is intended for use by professionals who are working with children who have underdeveloped visual perceptual skills, associated with language delay or other communication difficulties.

Full Description:   

Every practitioner working with children who have underdeveloped visual perception skills associated with language delay or other communication difficulty, will welcome this practical photocopiable manual. The activities are designed to stimulate and develop visual attention and discrimination skills.

Visual perceptual tasks are useful for developing specific concept life color, size and shape. They can also form part of an attention training program. An additional benefit is that they provide the child with practice at hand-eye co-ordination.

The majority of the activities are non-verbal and are therefore suitable for children with limited spoken language. They are primarily aimed at the pre-school age group, but they can be modified to suit the needs of a range of children. For instance, older pupils at school can learn the associated vocabulary.

Section 1-10 of the manual cover visual attention, discrimination, sequencing, concentration and memory. Additional sections describe holiday listening projects and topics for the school curriculum. A comprehensive list of materials and equipment is given.

The initial sections cover the basic visual experiences that are important to the development of the child's early communication skills. Later sections will deal with more advanced perceptual skills, including visual matching, sorting, and sequencing.

Each section describes teaching guidelines or activities designed to promote the development of the target visual skill. Activity sheets are provided with each teaching activity. They can be distributed to other professionals, parents or carers who may want to reinforce the child's learning. The activities on these sheets are aimed at helping the child to generalize the skills they have learned in a structered setting to the home or school environment.

Sample Activity

Looking From Different Perspectives

The following activities encourage the child to look at objects and events from different perspectives. The games ocncentrate on the effects of distance and angle.

What is this?
Take some photographs of common objects from unusual angles. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • an upturned bucket (upside down)
  • the bottom of a cup (underneath)
  • the inside of a hat (inside)
  • a pot of flowers as seen from the upstairs window (far)
  • a close-up of a light bulb (near)
  • an enlarged photograph of a small part of an object, like the holes in a button (enlargement)Can the child identify the object? Talk about why the objects look different.

    Guess the picture quiz
    Play the classroom quiz using the above pictures. How many objects can the children identify?

    Look out the window
    Ask the children what they can see out of the window. Talk about the way distance changes the perception of size, and how the angle of the viewer can alter the perception of shape. Ask the children to draw a picture of what they can see from the window. They can go outside to make another picture of the same scene from a different angle or distance.

    Draw an object
    Divide the children into groups. Give each group the same object, but ask them to draw it from different angles: for example, looking down on a flower pot, compare with looking up at it on a shelf. You can also place objects in different positions: for example, upside down, lying down, or leaning to one side. Ask the children to compare their drawings.

    208 photocopiable pages; 11 X 12;spiral bound

      Section 1 Look and Learn
      Section 2 Look at Me
      Section 3 Let's Look Together
      Section 4 Looking and Following
      Section 5 Looking Around
      Section 6 Visual Matching
      Section 7 Visual Sorting
      Section 8 Visual Sequencing
      Section 9 Complex Visual Discrimination
      Section 10 Visual Memory and Concentration
      Section 11 Holiday Projects
      Section 12 Visual Skills in the School Curriculum
      Section 13 Visual Resources
      Appendix 1 Further Reading
      Appendix 2 Useful Addresses

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