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Visual (sight) system

If the brain does not process visual sensation accurately then we may be described as over responsive or under-responsive to visual sensation and this will affect our behaviour. We may need more or less visuals in our environment in order to help us focus on a task.

A child with an over responsive visual or sight system might:

  • Become more erratic in a busier, more visually stimulating environment
  • Be visually distracted by others
  • Notice everything that’s happening in the room
  • Keep their head and eyes facing downwards most of the time
  • Startle at visual input
  • Show a sensitivity to light
  • Be irritated by bright lights
  • Like to wear sunglasses or a peaked cap

A child with an under responsive visual system might:

  • Not notice details in pictures
  • Show a lack of attention to the environment or people
  • Often miss visual cues
  • Appear unkempt or lack the ability to present themselves smartly

There are a number of ways you can help a child that has an over responsive visual system: 

  • Let your child carry out activities in a less busy/visually stimulating environment at intervals throughout the day, this might mean creating a suitable environment in their classroom such as a corner separated by dividers
  • Allow them to wear sunglasses
  • Keep lighting dim
  • In the classroom, let them sit facing a blank wall when working at a desk and directly in front of the teacher or board when listening to class discussions

There are a number of ways you can help a child that has an under responsive visual system:

  • Play games such as ‘I spy’, ‘Where’s Wally’, ‘Kim’s game’, puzzle books and word searches
  • Encourage them to read using a ruler under the line of text
  • Use lined paper for writing
  • Make sure your child’s eyes are regularly tested by an optician