Accommodation
Visual shifting or focusing from near to far and back to near without blur. This ability is necessary for copying from a distant source like a whiteboard to a close source like the paper on a desk. Another example is the shift from looking at the odometer on the dashboard of the car to the vehicles on the road. It is needed anytime the eyes are required to shift from the distance to the foreground or vice versa.


Attending
Ability to focus one’s attention on a task for a specified length of time (also referred to as concentration, focusing, or sustained self-directed attention).


Auditory Concentration
Ability to concentrate on and to pay attention to auditory input.


Auditory Memory
Ability to retain orally received information long enough to use it appropriately.


Automaticity
Performing a skill automatically, without conscious thought.


Balance Board
A simple device consisting of a platform resting on two rockers. The user stands or sits on the platform and performs exercises designed to help integrate brain activity by stimulating the vestibular system.


Binocularity
Ability to team or to use both eyes together as a unit. It is seeing something smoothly, equally and accurately with both eyes and combining the information received through each eye to make one mental picture. The process of using one eye and “shutting off” the other is called Suppression.


Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Condition in which a person with normal intelligence and functionally sound hearing abilities has difficulty understanding, processing and differentiating what is heard.


Cerebellum
Portion of the brain where motor skill development is integrated with information from the “thinking brain” (cerebellum).


Cognition
The mental process by which knowledge is acquired through perception, reasoning or intuition.


Convergence
The eyes must turn toward each other to allow both eyes to point exactly at the word being read. When both eyes do not point exactly at the word, several signs and symptoms frequently occur. They include blurring of print, squinting, excessive blinking, eyes burning or itching, and over-sensitivity to light. These can lead to such problems as: sustaining reading with difficulty, slow reading rate, avoidance of reading, disregard for detail, and inability to sustain attention to close-up work.


Critical Thinking
Thinking about what you’re thinking (while you are thinking in order to improve your thinking process and behavior or decisions)


Dyscalculia
A broad term which describes one type of Learning Disability in arithmetic. It may affect persons of normal intelligence, ranging from inability to understand the meaning of numbers to inability to apply math principles to solve problems.


Dyslexia
Impairment of the ability to read.


Evaluation
Ability to make decisions or choices based on available information (whether complete or not). This differs from problem solving.


Fine Motor
Refers to movement of the small muscles in the fingers, toes, eyes and tongue.


Fixation
Eye stop when perception occurs during reading.


Gross Motor
Refers to movement of large muscles in the arms, legs and trunk.


Kinesthetic
Relating to motion and muscle movement.


Ocular Motility
Ease in accomplishing eye movements.


Problem Solving
Deductive reasoning; ability to discover the solution from all the known information. Processing or understanding through mental or cognitive activity.


Proprioception
Unconscious awareness of sensations coming from one’s joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. The brain uses this information to tell us about our own movement and body position.


Pursuit (Tracking)
The smooth and accurate eye movement needed to track a moving visual target. Generally it plays a very small role in the ordinary act of reading from a printed page. However, poor pursuit functioning can reduce one’s ability to read moving print on a television screen, hit a ball with a bat, or read a street sign from a moving car.


Regression
Inadvertent reverse eye movement.


Saccade (Fixation)
Small rapid jerky movements of the eye as it jumps from one focus point to another (as in reading). This is different from “tracking.”  Voluntary and reflexive saccades strongly impact the reader’s understanding. For reading to be sequential and meaningful, the eyes must not move beyond the next word. For example, suppose the instructions are: “Put math homework in the red bin.”  The student who overshoots the word afterPut“ may skip “math” and see “homework” as the next word, and mistakenly deposit all of his homework in the red bin!


Sensory Integration
Brain’s ability to pull together, to process and to organize input from the senses and motor skills so that the brain produces a useful and appropriate body response.


Sequenced Motor Skills
Physical activities performed in sequence, requiring the use of several different systems, ie, reading (small movements of the eye muscles) and writing (eye/hand coordination).


Sequencing
Ability to process and to carry out something in an organized, appropriate order. Other words: arrange in order, organize in succession.


Sight Words
Common words used frequently in everyday print. They make up 40-50% of all written material. For good fluency, they must be recognized automatically by sight without sounding out.


Silent Reading Fluency
Reading silently, independently at an adequate rate with good comprehension on grade level


Somatosensory
Refers to the simultaneous tactile perceptions of touch and of body position. It is necessary for such ordinary tasks as picking up a can of pop or holding a pen to write.


Spatiality
Organized awareness of the space around us and the objects in that space.


Suppression
When the visual system is extremely stressed, there can be a loss (or “shutting off” ) of normally visible objects in all or part of the field of vision. A student resting his head in his hand while reading is sometimes an example of this. One eye is unconsciously blocked to avoid “seeing double”.


Sweep/Return Sweep
Returning from the right end of a line of print to the beginning (the left edge) of the next line of print.


Tracking (Pursuit)
The smooth and accurate eye movement needed to track a moving visual target. Generally it plays a very small role in the ordinary act of reading from a printed page. However, poor pursuit functioning can reduce one’s ability to read moving print on a television screen, hit a ball with a bat, or read a street sign from a moving car.


Vestibular System
Located in the three semicircular canals of each inner ear, it tells your brain how your body is moving or resting in relation to gravity and to accelerated or decelerated movement. This is the unifying system of your body, integrating balance, hearing, proprioception and all other senses.


Vision
Sight is the ability to see, a function most people have from birth. Vision is the ability to understand what is seen, a learned process. Learning difficulties are not necessarily the direct result of  “vision” problems, but they certainly can be worsened by their existence. On the other hand, well trained “vision” can greatly enhance the learning process.


Visual Concentration
Ability to concentrate on and to pay attention to visual input.


Visual Memory
Ability to retain visually presented information long enough to do something with it at a future time, whether for short term or for long term.


Visual Perception
The capacity to interpret or give meaning to what is seen. In other words, it is understanding gained through recognition, insight and interpretation of what one sees.