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What Is Form Discrimination?

Form discrimination is defined as the ability to perceive differences among and positional aspects of objects, and is one of the most basic visual discriminations that a child has to make.

As Hallahan et al. rightly state in the book Introduction to Learning Disabilities, the child with poor form discrimination is at a distinct disadvantage when confronted with school-related activities. There is hardly an academic activity that does not require the child to engage in form discrimination.

The most obvious classroom activity requiring the child to discriminate forms is that of reading. The learning of the letters of the alphabet, syllables, and words will undoubtedly be impeded if there is difficulty in perceiving the form of the letters, syllables, and words. The child having a problem in this area is unable to distinguish between similar letters such as m and n, or words such as hosehouse and horse.

That the discrimination of letters is a crucial skill in the early stages of reading is evidenced by an extensive literature review conducted by Chall. She concluded that the letter knowledge of young children is a better predictor of early reading ability than the various tests of intelligence and language ability.

Edublox Online Tutor offers cognitive development programs, aimed at the development of the skills foundational to reading, spelling, writing and math. Form discrimination is one of these foundational skills.