Visual Perception

Visual perception refers to the brain’s ability to interpret what the eyes see. This differs from visual acuity, which indicates the strength of a person’s eyesight. Someone with 20/20 vision can still have problems with visual processing and their brain’s ability to effectively recognize what they see.

As a child grows, his or her visual perception will develop as the environmental demands become more complex. Some of the building blocks important to developing visual perception include sensory processing, visual attention, visual memory, spatial relations, figure-ground discrimination, and visual closure.

Well-developed visual perception is essential to everyday tasks such as reading, writing, dressing, and many others. The inability to perform these tasks effectively can affect a child’s self-esteem, leading to further developmental setbacks as well as behavioral problems and decreased academic performance. Signs of potential problems with a child’s visual perception development include difficulty completing puzzles or connecting dots, difficulty telling left from right, issues with dressing such as mismatching shoes and socks, and confusing letters and numbers when reading. Activities that can help improve visual perception include memory games and flashcards, building blocks, picture and word search puzzles, and drawing.

The Developmental Milestones Guide is an invaluable guide outlining the milestones associated with the development of visual perception and the approximate ages children should be displaying these milestones. This guide is essential for occupational therapists to use as a reference when working with children of all ages.


In our guide, you’ll find tables listing specific developmental milestones for each category, including fine and gross motor skills, self-care, cognitive abilities, and language development, as well as others, including visual perception, functional visual development, puzzles and block designs. We want to emphasize that these milestones are only a guide, and that because each child is unique the age at which they reach these milestones may vary somewhat.

The Developmental Milestones Guide can be an essential tool for occupational therapists, nurses, counselors, and pediatric specialists during everyday interactions with parents and children. Instead of spending valuable time and effort researching and looking up individual milestones, the Developmental Milestones Guide offers everything you need in one handy place. Download a digital copy of the guide, or order your printed copy today.