Visual discrimination

Visual discrimination is the ability to spot the differences and similarities in colour, shape, form, size etc of objects. Visual discrimination helps us to identify letters, numbers and symbols and it also helps us to read. Children with poor visual discrimination skills cannot differentiate similar looking letters and words. They have difficulty in reading and writing and doing maths.

Activities for improving visual discrimination

  1. Sorting activities:

    A variety of sorting activities can be thought of. If the child has problems distinguishing lower case letters from upper case letters, plastic alphabets can be used. These can be bought and different types of sorting activities can be performed. If she has confusion with similar looking letters such as b and d, h and b, m and w, u and n etc, require her to pick out a specific letter (for example d) from a collection of plastic letters. The advantage with plastic letters is that these are three dimensional and the child can feel the letters.

    Beads and buttons of various colours, sizes and shapes can be used to do sorting activities. The sorting can be done on the basis of colour, size, shapes etc. Or a combination of size and colour can be used. Any similar looking set of objects- leaves, flowers, pencil stubs, pictures and other objects can be used.

    Playing cards can be used to sort numbers. Newspapers can be used to identify alphabets. Require the child to score out all the letter b in a paragraph. Similarly, ask her to cross out any other letter. Another activity would be to score out frequently used words such as are, the, in, to, on, is, etc. Scoring out all the three letter or four letter words in a paragraph is another useful activity. All these activities improve concentration.

    Related activity in this website: Count the Similar Objects, Confusing Words, Longest and Shortest, Find the Identical Object, Circle the Identical Words, Drag and Drop Objects, Connect the dots, and Can You Find Me?

  2. Doing puzzles:

    Children’s magazines have activities such as spotting differences in two similar looking pictures. Various types of puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles, word searches etc are useful for improving visual discrimination. Search the internet for: visual discrimination worksheets.

    Go to jigsaw puzzles and word search activities in this website.

  3. Proofreading

    Proofreading is a good activity for improving visual discrimination. Copy a small paragraph from the child’s textbook or any other book and make five mistakes. Require the child to compare with the text to spot the mistakes. This activity also improves concentration and is good for children with attention disorder.

    Go to Proofreading activity in this website.