This is my fourth post under the label understanding autism better.
People on the spectrum , have difficulty processing visual information . In other words they have visual perceptual difficulties.
Relating to a personal experience I had with Ramam recently prompted me to choose this topic. I was working on Ramam calling out numbers for a game of tambola/ housie. In a game of tambola the person call out numbers from 1-100. The participants are given tickets and they score out the numbers called out. He would read the number correct but would place it in the wrong place and sometimes vice versa.
As Ramam called out the numbers I realized he was reading the second digit of the two digit number wrong , although number identification was not an issue. I put this across some Fb groups and I had a set of probable reasons as to why this must be happening. Some of the reasons cited were verbal apraxia, visual difficulties, lack of the concept of the units and the tenth place. All of them gave me enough to think about. By a process of elimination I set about trying to find out the cause.
So them I made a larger board, observed his play more keenly. I realized he would call out 8 as 0, call out 71 as 11 , call out 82 as 28. I have been now making him practise on this larger board, without actually playing a game. There is no hurry , I let him scan the board more leisurely to place the number on the right slot. I see there is a definite improvement.
Visual processing difficulties are of various types, and these difficulties are encountered in everyday living.
Visual discrimination issues as mixing up letters numbers as Ramam writes d for b, w for m.
Visual sequencing issues such as skipping words or lines when reading, difficulty in copying a sequence.
Complex shape copying and directional issues .Pattern drawing , rangolis are some of the activities undertaken to help resolve this issue.
Copying from a black board so as to retain the place and information on the board and then write it on a page in the notebook.
Pouring liquids from one container to another, which was earlier an issue
Handwriting issues such as spacing, overlapping of words,
Visual sequential memory as in remembering a sequence of numbers or a phone number.
Difficulty in identifying the foreground and background of a picture,
What started as an effort to make him participate in a social activity had me looking at visual processing difficulties more closely. Everytime I see Ram trying to get it right ,I feel very proud of the effort the boy puts in to overcome the obstacles.
These are the pictures of the board I used earlier and the one I use now.