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Visual & Auditory Closure

What are visual perceptual skills?

Visual perceptual skills are the brain’s ability to make sense of what the eyes see. It is important for everyday activities such as dressing, eating, writing, and playing.

What are auditory perceptual skills?

Auditory perception could be defined as the ability to receive and interpret information that reached the ears through audible frequency waves transmitted through the air or other means.

Visual Closure

Visual closure reflects a child’s ability to look at an incomplete shape, object or amount, and fill in the missing details in order to identify what it would be if it were complete.

This skill requires abstract problem solving. Functionally, visual closure impacts a student’s ability to:

  • write and spell,
  • to use worksheets or test forms that are poorly photocopied,
  • copy something if he/she cannot see the complete presentation of what is to be copied,
  • complete partially drawn pictures or stencils,
  • complete assignments,
  • complete dot-to-dot worksheets or puzzles,
  • identify mistakes in written material,
  • perform mathematics (including geometry), and solve puzzles.


    The child tends to leave out parts of words or entire words, and leaves out parts of worksheets.

    Without good visual closure skills, seeing and understanding many mathematical concepts like area and perimeter becomes difficult. If you have difficulties with visual closure, it is more difficult to retrieve the information, read fluently, and make further connections and associations.


What poor visual closure may look like:

  • Difficulty identifying shapes or objects when a part is missing.
  • Difficulty completing a task or resolving an idea based on partial information.
  • Confusion between similar objects.
  • Confusion between similar words (words with close beginning or endings).
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Auditory Closure

Auditory closure is the ability to combine sounds that you hear into actual words. It is also the ability to pull ideas together that you have heard orally but may have missed some bits and pieces of.

Auditory closure helps you with sounding out words, discriminating between sounds, attend to auditory stimuli (listening to stories and lectures), as well as filling in gaps when you miss parts of words or conversations. Correct language usage, spelling accurately, and taking great notes are also dependant on auditory closure skills.

There is a carryover from auditory closure to both listening and reading comprehension. Listening comprehension is your ability to make sense of what you have heard. Auditory closure allows you to process, filter, assign meaning, and act on what you have heard. Your factual knowledge is an important piece of both listening comprehension and reading comprehension. Once you make sense of what you have heard, your brain assigns it to specific auditory memory and visual memory centers of the brain where you can later retrieve the information. Reading comprehension is impacted by this too. If you have difficulties with auditory closure, it is more difficult to read fluently, to retrieve the information at a later date, and to make further connections and associations. When given the individual sounds ‘c’, ‘a’, and ‘t’; auditory closure is the ability to bring those individual sounds together to make the word ‘cat’.

Symptoms of poor auditory closure may include:

  • Poor reading comprehension.
  • Difficulty following directions.
  • Trouble listening to a “single voice” in noisy environments.
  • Confusing similar sounds.
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