Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit

Young girl having difficulty painting displaying symptoms of Visual Perception/Visual Motor Deficit disorder.Affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy.

A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD, it can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.

Signs and Symptoms

  • May have reversals: b for d, p for q or inversions: u for n, w for m
  • Has difficulty negotiating around campus
  • Complains eyes hurt and itch, rubs eyes, complains print blurs while reading
  • Turns head when reading across page or holds paper at odd angles
  • Closes one eye while working, may yawn while reading
  • Cannot copy accurately
  • Loses place frequently
  • Does not recognize an object/word if only part of it is shown
  • Holds pencil too tightly; often breaks pencil point/crayons
  • Struggles to cut or paste
  • Misaligns letters; may have messy papers, which can include letters colliding, irregular spacing, letters not on line


  • Avoid grading handwriting
  • Allow students to dictate creative stories
  • Provide alternative for written assignments
  • Suggest use of pencil grips and specially designed pencils and pens
  • Allow use of computer or word processor
  • Restrict copying tasks
  • Provide tracking tools: ruler, text windows
  • Use large print books
  • Plan to order or check out books on tape
  • Experiment with different paper types: pastels, graph, embossed raised line paper

Excerpted from the LDA of California and UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute “Q.U.I.L.T.S.” Calendar 2001-2002