Is there a visual equivalent of Auditory Processing Disorder? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-08-2010, 03:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just looked at something ds drew this week, and it struck me just how immature his visual-motor skills seem to be. He's 9 and he draws like a 3-4 year old -- his drawings are vaguely representational, but only if you kind of know what you're looking at. He often forgets to add arms to his stick people. He can't do "find the hidden object" type games/puzzles, and he has zero interest in puzzles, legos or other building activities. In fact, he actively avoids them.

He had a horrible unit in math last year where they were supposed to build figures with tangrams. When confronted with the 7 shapes and the thing he was supposed to build, he didn't even know where to begin. It wasn't that he wasn't willing to try, he had no clue as to how to build a shape. The only way we got through that unit was by me solving the puzzle, and then him copying it. And even when he copied it, he wasn't all that great at it. If a piece moved slightly, he couldn't seem to figure it out.

I talked to his teacher last year and he wasn't concerned about ds' inability to do the tangram unit, but that unit was taught by a sub, so he didn't see just how hard it was for ds. Ds is highly verbal and has great facility with words, so I'm not worried about an overall learning issue, just with visual-spatial kinds of reasoning. (Logical reasoning is easy for him, visual spatial stumps him.)

Is there a visual equivalent of auditory processing disorder? If so, what would it be?

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#2 of 16 Old 11-08-2010, 03:42 AM
 
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have you heard of non-verbal learning disabilities? that may be a place to start.

but, yes, challenges come in all sorts of places.

there can be VERY specific challenges. once you understand them a little better you can learn to help him work around them at the very least.

also look at coding skills maybe.

in the meantime, try thinking about verbal ways to explain some thing that normally depend on visual learning.

i'm a visual learner with poor auditory processing. i translate things so i can understand them. the more you guys translate, the easier it will be.

good luck!
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#3 of 16 Old 11-08-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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Andrew is extremely similar.

At the suggestion of someone with a similar child I actually did an assessment via this book and he did perform below grade level. http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Childr.../dp/0802771785 We did the remediation exercises in the book and I do think it helped his visual processing but there are still issues (this is a brain thing I believe). It was interesting because it was so difficult at first. It reminded me of when we did vision therapy. It seemed unbelievably impossible. But it clicked in at some point and it got easier and easier and he ended up doing so well.

I have often wondered if Andrew would fit the criteria for diagnosis of Nonverbal Learning Disability. I suspect he would. I suspect, in actuality, this may be "his place" on the spectrum. All Andrew's stuff constantly runs back to visual it seems.

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#4 of 16 Old 11-08-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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I'd imagine dyslexia would also fit that category. I can read something 100x and still not be able to comprehend what it means.

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#5 of 16 Old 11-08-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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There are visual-spatial disorders. I think OT's address them - sometimes in the schools, sometimes not, depending on the specifics and how it impacts the student's learning and life. If this V-S disorder impacts learning, the student could be identified as Learning Disabled, meaning that he/she needs material presented in a different way to be a most successful learner, and could qualify for services or accommodations.

People with Non-verbal Learning Disabilities often have some ASD overlap traits - inability to read social cues sorts of things.
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#6 of 16 Old 11-09-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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Definitely. My son has optical dysfunction which means that his eyes don't work in coordination. He has tracking and converging issues. A good optometrist should be able to detect those things. He's going through vision training now.
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#7 of 16 Old 11-09-2010, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the input -- I've looked at Non-verbal learning disorders before and he just doesn't have enough of the signs to make me think that's what's going on there. It's much like I feel about ds and autism -- he's got a few of the markers, but not a critical mass, especially in the areas that seem to be critical.

I just got the Helping Children overcome Learning Difficulties book from the library today (I happened to be there, happened to remember, and didn't have dd with me, so I could actually look up the book!). Thanks for the tip. Now if I can find time to read it.

If he had tracking issues, would he have had trouble learning to read or reading in older grades? He didn't have any trouble learning to read and is reading well above grade level right now. His comprehension is excellent.

No one has ever suggested a learning disorder, I'm just puzzled because his ability to do this sort of visual puzzles and to do art is so far below his other abilities. It's the discrepancy that makes me wonder. Right now, it's not impacting his life or his ability to do what he wants (I don't think), and so if all it means is that he won't be able to do tangrams and he won't become an architect, it may not be worth pursuing. I just don't want it to come back and bite us when he's in high school.

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#8 of 16 Old 11-10-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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If he's reading well, then I don't think it's a tracking issue.

 

I'm learning how individual and specific disorders can be. I'm very certain though that the place my son goes to can test for the things your talking about. I remember ds taking a bunch of tests that had to do with interpreting images. We go to a University optometry center that is equipped with the latest technological advances, and insurance covers the eval and therapy. I highly recommend that route. I'm amazed how many ways that sight can malfunction and how accurately they can test for them.

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#9 of 16 Old 11-10-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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NLD is tricky because it can manifest itself in so many ways.  Many times kids do really well right up until about 3rd grade and then hit a wall where the visual processing required has gotten too complex, so you might not have to wait until high school to find out.  The things you have mentioned sound very NLD-like to me but I think it is possible to have a visual processing disorder than doesn't meet criteria for NLD so maybe that is really what's going on.  In any case, if you have the resources to have an OT do an eval it will likely give you the information to decide if it is something worth pursuing or not. 


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#10 of 16 Old 11-10-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Yes, there are visual processing problems.  A developmental opthalmologist AND an occupational therapist can both help with these issues.  We had our son evaluated by a developmental opthalmologist, and it only cost us $50 for the eval! There is vision therapy available through these professionals.

 

The doc we saw has a small website, but I think there were helpful links on there: www.instituteforvision.com

 

 

hths

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#11 of 16 Old 11-11-2010, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommay View Post

If he's reading well, then I don't think it's a tracking issue.

 

I'm learning how individual and specific disorders can be. I'm very certain though that the place my son goes to can test for the things your talking about. I remember ds taking a bunch of tests that had to do with interpreting images. We go to a University optometry center that is equipped with the latest technological advances, and insurance covers the eval and therapy. I highly recommend that route. I'm amazed how many ways that sight can malfunction and how accurately they can test for them.


Yes, I suspect if it is a learning issue (not sure it is yet), that is quite specific and not generalized. We live close to a major teaching hospital. I'll have to see if they do that sort of testing if it's an issue. I think I'm in "wait and see mode" right now.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrsfru View Post

Yes, there are visual processing problems.  A developmental opthalmologist AND an occupational therapist can both help with these issues.  We had our son evaluated by a developmental opthalmologist, and it only cost us $50 for the eval! There is vision therapy available through these professionals.

 

The doc we saw has a small website, but I think there were helpful links on there: www.instituteforvision.com

hths

 

Thanks for the link -- I've got it bookmarked now and will look into it more. Right now the testimonials they're talking about don't really sound like ds, so I'm back in "is it really a problem?" territory.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieG View Post

NLD is tricky because it can manifest itself in so many ways.  Many times kids do really well right up until about 3rd grade and then hit a wall where the visual processing required has gotten too complex, so you might not have to wait until high school to find out.  The things you have mentioned sound very NLD-like to me but I think it is possible to have a visual processing disorder than doesn't meet criteria for NLD so maybe that is really what's going on.  In any case, if you have the resources to have an OT do an eval it will likely give you the information to decide if it is something worth pursuing or not.

 

Ds was in OT for 2 years, and when he started he had significantly below average Visual-Motor Integration scores. When he exited, they were on target. Do you have a good list of NLD symptoms? I've been through several on-line and while he's got maybe one symptom per category, it's not a lot. He's good at verbal stuff, and he's got physical delays. He's a bit delayed in social skills, but from what I've seen, he's actually not out of the realm of his peers. It's hard to judge because he's verbal, tall and also among the youngest in his class. Does he 'look' worse than other kids because of that?

 

For example, from the website: http://www.nldontheweb.org/nldentrylevelreading/nldcharacteristics.html, I've highted the ones in red that apply, ones in orange that might or did but were resolved with OT. There just aren't enough of them to make me say NLD.

 

Academic Performance
TRUE WISC Verbal IQ is often higher than the Performance IQ.
TRUE Strong to exceptional vocabulary and more than typical verbal expression.

NOT TRUE Strong to exceptional auditory rote memory skills.
NOT TRUE Excellent attention to detail, but not so for the big picture.
NOT TRUE The individual may be an early reader, OR may have early reading difficulties.  NOT TRUE Common difficulty with reading comprehension beginning in the upper elementary grades, especially for novel material.
NOT TRUE Difficulties in math are common, especially in the areas of word problems and abstract applications.
NOT TRUE Concept formation and abstract reasoning may be significantly impaired.
NOT TRUE Significant difficulty generalizing information - e. g. applying learned information to new or novel situations.

NOT TRUE Generally they are auditory, unimodal learners (may not look or write while processing).

Social Interaction
NOT TRUE Process at a very concrete level and interpret information quite literally.
MAYBE TRUE - "significant"? No. Some weakness, yes. Significant weakess processing nonverbal communication such as body language, facial expressions, or tone of voice.
NOT TRUE Unable to intuit what is not specifically stated.
NOT TRUE May present as uncooperative.
NOT TRUE Tremendous difficulty with fluid or difficult social interactions.

MAYBE TRUE - he's gullible. Lack "street smarts" - can be incredibly naive.

 Physical
WAS TRUE  -- is doing well in baseball, OK in soccer  Appear to lack coordination - do better in individual rather than team sports.
TRUE Impaired fine motor skills - handwriting may be poor and/or laborious.
TRUE Significant problems with spatial perception are common.

WAS TRUE Difficulty learning to ride a bicycle, catch and/or kick a ball, hop and/or skip.

Anxiety
NOT TRUE (moderate, but resolving) Anxiety and/or depression may be quite severe, especially during adolescence.
NOT TRUE – opposite happening, he's getting less withdrawn and more social. Individuals tend to be withdrawn by middle school, and may actually become agoraphobic.
NOT TRUE Cannot readily adapt to new situations, or changes to routine.
NOT TRUE Self-esteem problems are common.  Increased incidence of suicide within the NLD population.


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#12 of 16 Old 11-12-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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The list of "Trues" could overlap several different issues or just be typical difficulties in some areas.  My ds has mild SPD and has a similar profile to this.  It seems like you have too many "Not Trues" to fit the NVLD category at this time.  I think you're on the right track with the visual processing piece.

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#13 of 16 Old 11-13-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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My son has sensory processing disorder and has many of the same problems you mentioned your son has.  Have you looked into SPD?  It sounds like some of that might be fine motor skills?  

 

My son is very bright, but he just started kindergarten and he drew like a two-year-old, or maybe even younger!  All he could manage were big scribbled blobs on the page.  He was well below all of the other kids in his class.

 

We have been seeing an occupational therapist and she's done a lot of testing to find his weak areas.  I think it's really helping him improve his weaknesses. 

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#14 of 16 Old 11-14-2010, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisou View Post

My son has sensory processing disorder and has many of the same problems you mentioned your son has.  Have you looked into SPD?  It sounds like some of that might be fine motor skills?  

 

My son is very bright, but he just started kindergarten and he drew like a two-year-old, or maybe even younger!  All he could manage were big scribbled blobs on the page.  He was well below all of the other kids in his class.

 

We have been seeing an occupational therapist and she's done a lot of testing to find his weak areas.  I think it's really helping him improve his weaknesses. 

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Ds was diagnosed with SPD at age 5, and OT helped tremendously. But this visual-spatial piece remains, despite overall improvement in his general motor skills.
 


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#15 of 16 Old 11-14-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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have you tried vision therapy?  dd has visual processing issues, so we have started vision therapy with a developmental optometrist.  Hoping it works - I am not sure what else can be done, and I know her life would be ok if she is never able to draw but I hate to have her miss out on things like that.

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#16 of 16 Old 11-29-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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Yep. My daughter has cortical visual impairment. She can read (is dyslexic), but she cant tell if something is moving or still, if there are stairs, curbs, drop offs.....she doesnt know if a shadow is a puddle or a 500 ft hole.

 

She cant visually understand where her body is in space. How full things are. How far things are away from her.

 

Is he also the one whose eyes were red on the pics?

 

I would get him checked for albinism or optic nerve hypoplasia. Not to concern you..but it doesnt hurt now that you mentioned it.

 

Ot: my best friends son has CAPD and my daughter has CVI...one can hear but not listen and one can see, but is blind. Its al;ot of fun when they get together. :)

 

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