Visual Motor/Perception Skills

Visual motor skills help children guide their movements based on visual information. These skills develop sequentially. Children learn to imitate forms and letters first. Imitation is when the child draws the form or letter after he/she sees an adult draw it. Once a child can imitate a form or letter, he/she learns to copy it. Copying is when the child draws a form or a letter from a predrawn model. Shortly after learning how to copy a form or letter, most children can draw a form or letter from memory ( ). Examples include:

  • Motor Coordination
  • Copying

Visual perceptual skills help children obtain and organize visual information from the environment and interpret what they see. Visual perceptual skills play an important role in learning how to form letters. These skills are also important for copying, sizing, spacing, and orienting letters and words correctly ( ).

Examples include:

  • Form Constancy – the ability to identify a form even if it is different in size, orientation, color, or texture.
  • Figure Ground – the ability to distinguish a form from the surrounding background.
  • Spatial Relations/Position in Space – the ability to understand the position of objects in relation to each other and to one’s self.
  • Visual Discrimination – the ability to perceive the differences and similarities in forms.
  • Visual Closure – the ability to identify a form even though part of it is not visible.
  • Visual Memory – the ability to remember what one sees.