What are Visual Processing Difficulties?

 

 How would you know that the way you see the world isn’t quite “right”?

I only realised that I have some visual processing difficulties after I tried some glasses from Jordans Opticians.

The idea that a specific colour can help your brain to focus and process information could seem hard to believe. I don’t know how that works, only that for me, it does work.  Really well. In fact, I’m wearing my glasses while I write this.

 

Visual Processing Difficulties can cause difficulties with

  • Reading
  • Visual memory
  • Tracking movement

 

READING  =  Seeing + Processing + Understanding + Remembering.

How can you pass an exam if you can’t READ the questions?

 

I wouldn’t say that I’m dyslexic, but I’m probably on the spectrum. With my Jordans glasses on, text looks blacker, bolder and slightly bigger. It’s much easier to read along lines. I don’t skip over words, misread words or miss lines. Another reason the text appears blacker is because a little of my synaesthesia is filtered out while I wear my glasses. Perhaps while speeding up the processing in my brain, some of the extra neural conections causing my snaesthesia are bypassed in favour of a more direct route.

What proved to me that Jordans Glasses help with reading, processing and remembering text was when my grades for Higher Biology went from No Award (less than 30% correct) to an A.

In 2012 I decided to re-sit Higher Biology. My previous exam had, despite much studying, ended in with a disappointing No Award grade. It hadn’t helped that when I first sat Higher Biology, my hearing had been at its worst, and I couldn’t process what my teacher was saying in class. But surely I could have passed after all the reading and studying I’d done?

Studying again two years later to re-sit the exam, I still felt like I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I was reading the same textbook pages over and over, and feeling like I’d never seen them before. I could have read my study books aloud perfectly with no mistakes, but the information wasn’t sticking in my head.

When I went to Jordans Opticians I was close to giving up on Biology. No matter how much I studied, it felt like a waste of my teacher’s time, my time, and my parents’ money. I wasn’t progressing at all- in fact some lessons I seemed to know less than the previous week.

Wearing my coloured glasses (which are red-tinted) to study made a huge difference. I could READ properly! Reading isn’t as simple as it seems. You don’t just look at the text and that’s it. Your brain has to process what you see, process and translate that text into whichever unique way that you think (for example, visual learners may translate what the information they read into mental images). Then you have to remember that information.     

In the time before my exam I read my textbook cover to cover, flying past the first ten pages which I had been trying to learn for months. I wasn’t expecting an A, but passing my exam seemed much more likely.

During my exam, I wore my glasses. I realised that half of the problem, and probably the reason I failed biology two years earlier, was because I couldn’t read the questions in the paper properly.

Higher Biology has very long, wordy, complicated questions, sometimes involving maths (which I hate). If I couldn’t READ these questions, I had no chance, no matter how good my knowledge of the subject was.

My glasses kicked my brain into gear and I even must have managed most of the maths-related questions. When I heard my results –that I got an A!- I was thrilled.

Something I’ve heard dyslexic people say a few times is that letters seem too close together. Maybe this is because they process words too quickly, or too many letters at the same time. I think that Jordans glasses help  with tasks such as reading because they make your brain process information more efficiently and consistently, whether your processing is “too fast” or “too slow”.  

 

Do I know you?  Visual Processing and Remembering Faces

I don’t remember faces well. Hair colour is the main way I tell who’s who from acquaintances and anyone other than my close friends and family. Before I got glasses from Jordans Opticians, most people looked very similar to me. This sometimes made things awkward, such as the time I realised that the stranger talking to me on the bus as if she knew me, was one of my neighbours.

Seeing people’s faces (and my own) properly for the first time was a startling experience. For a start, everyone looked smaller, which made them seem less threatening. I had never thought of my family as ugly, but with my glasses on, they looked much nicer.

Something I noticed and could never make sense of before I got Jordans Glasses, was the way my face looked based on how much energy I had. When I was really tired after a day of school, my face appeared to be longer, an almost lumpy shape, with a huge forehead. This was because when I was tired, visual processing became more difficult for me.

With my glasses on, I was very happy to see that I do not have an enormous forehead (although getting a fringe was an improvement).

 

 

 

Tracking

Tracking a moving object requires visual processing ability, whether that’s reading along a line of text without skipping over letters, or watching a ball come towards you.

A change I noticed after I wore my glasses for a while, was that traffic seemed to move more fluidly. Until then, cars coming towards me seemed to get closer in short jumps instead of approaching smoothly and at the same pace. I don’t wear my glasses when I’m out in public (although I probably should), but I’ve found that after wearing them for a few hours, studying, writing or whatever, the effect stays with me for a while.

I want to stress that I don’t know much about Visual Processing difficulties. I only know what it feels like to have some of them, and the changes I experienced with Jordans glasses. For expert information, please check out the Jordans Opticians Website.

 

www.jordanseyes.com 

 

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