Visual Memory

Dr. Russel Lazarus, May 11, 2021

Does your child struggle with spelling or have comprehension difficulties? It could be a visual memory problem.

The ability to remember what we see is important to process short-term memory into long-term memory.

Visual memory is necessary for most academic tasks, including reading, spelling, reading comprehension, math and copying from a board to a notebook.

When a child has poor visual memory, school can become difficult.

What is visual memory?

Visual memory is the ability to immediately recall what the eye has seen. It allows a child to remember what a symbol, object, shape or form looked like, which is essential for learning.

Visual memory for reading and writing

There are four specific visual memory skills that are necessary for success in reading and writing:

  1. Visual sensory memory includes information that comes from any of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste). This type of memory enables you to remember a word or image that was shown for just a brief period of time and then easily recall that information.
  2. Visual working memory helps you to remember information for short periods of time, such as when asked to repeat a sentence in a story, or put the events of the story in proper sequence.
  3. Visual spatial memory allows you to create a picture of the information in your mind. This is necessary for many skills, such as understanding sequences of events, recalling text and images in a story, and remembering the correct spelling of a word.
  4. Visual sequential memory helps you to remember the sequence of letters, objects and events in the correct order. This is essential for spelling as well as comprehension of text.

Schedule an evaluation with a vision therapy eye doctor who can help improve any visual problems your child may have.

SEE RELATED: Visual Motor Integration

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Signs of poor visual memory

If your child exhibits several of these symptoms, poor visual memory could be the cause:

  • Difficulty copying information from a book or the board
  • Difficulty recognizing letters or numbers
  • Difficulty with sight words (sounds them out instead)
  • May appear lazy in written work
  • Confuses letters or words when writing
  • Poor math skills
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor spelling skills
  • Slow handwriting
  • Trouble finding letters on a keyboard or numbers on a calculator
  • Trouble memorizing basic information such as phone numbers

If your child shows signs of any of these symptoms, contact an eye doctor near you to have your child’s vision evaluated.

How vision therapy can help

Vision therapy is a customized program that can improve visual memory through eye exercises that retrain the eyes and brain to work together and also develops the visual memory skills.

These exercises will not only improve a child’s visual memory issue, but help them to improve their spelling and reading, so that learning doesn’t have to be a struggle.

If your child has a visual information processing problem, they may also have a binocular vision problem.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Vision and Learning Difficulties

Schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you who can diagnose and treat any vision problems your child may have.