Let’s avoid Dyslexia: Simple ways parents could help

Children who learn to visualise words don’t develop Dyslexia. So how do we encourage young children to visualise words, even before school and any formal teaching. The Word Form Area (WFA) is an area in their brain that has mental images of words used for word recognition. The answer is simple and you don’t need to be taught how to do this you can simply learn in the right environment.

For free live group coaching sessions register here Ready to try a Different Strategy for Dyslexia. The one scheduled for July 4th is about helping children avoid Dyslexia, even if it runs in the family. You will also be able to download a full version of this note.

Step 1: Make friends with your own mental images.   This is a useful skill for any learning. Without pressure, a child can explore their own mental images for objects and people.  For example, if they are talking about elephants, ask them what colour theirs are and don’t be surprised when you are told rainbow coloured elephants doing ninja dancing.   There are no right answers to mental imagery, they are your pictures, and you are not being asked to judge them.  Here are some examples of how to do this:

  • Help them explore their own mental images, e.g. looking at pictures and talking about the details.   
  • Talk about life events they can recall or make up
  • When reading a story, encourage the child to make up pictures in their head so they can remember their favourite bits.  These pictures can be still or videos and may not match yours; they may be better!  Have you ever read a book and then seen the film, and the story doesn’t match your imagination?
  • After a parent reads a book, the child may like to look through favourite books and make up their own stories, encouraging a vivid imagination.
  • You/they can make up imaginary characters and animals; the crazier, the better.
  • Notice how your child may like waking up and just turning the pages of a favourite book, with no pressure to read, but gaining an awareness of words all on their own.
  • You may notice them look up when they are talking about their pictures – this in excellent and the best place to visualise.
  • Follow their interests in a self-directed way.

p.s. they have pictures in their head of you at 6 weeks old, that is how they recognise you and smile.

Step 2: How to build up your Word Form Area (WFA) without instruction?  Help them get used and familiar with being able to picture letters and words before beginning any formal instruction, which may not even be needed. By simply seeing words in a non-threatening way, they will invisibly start building words in the WFA.  It is essential to stay relaxed.  If the child gets stressed or feels put on the spot to “get it right”, their anxiety mounts,  memory is poor, and the letters may even start dancing around on the paper. 

  • Their name usually is the first word they recognise; why?  Because they have seen it the most times and naturally popped it in their WFA.
  • Stick post-its of object words around the house, on the object, just above their eye level.  Perhaps different colours for fun.  Preferably one-syllable words to start with, e.g. door on door, cup on cup, wall on wall.  Don’t make a fuss about them, just leave them there.  Perhaps add a few more on to favourite places like the fridge door too, e.g. eggs, cheese and pop. You can also use a favourute teddy, as in the picture.
  • By simply seeing words in a non-threatening way, they will invisibly start building words in the WFA.  It is essential to stay relaxed.  If the child gets stressed or feels put on the spot to “get it right”, their anxiety mounts,  memory is poor, and the letters may even start dancing around on the paper.  Please don’t ask the child what the word is; wait until they recognise it or ask you.  Waiting for the child to ask has the added bonus they are more likely to remember it.
  • Words are all around them; in books, on street signs, shop signs (like Tesco), shopping lists, etc. and they will be secretly stashing these away in their WFA for the day, they proudly announce, “I can read”.

These have all been noun words which is the place to start and neuroscience has explained why this is so. For more details as to how to start recognising non-nouns register here and select July 4th, for a live class for young children and a free download. I has been teaching dyslexic children for 22 years. I can assure you it is easier for very young children to learn these basic skills of word recognition before going to school, where they will need to master phonics, when a little older, for more difficult words.

For free live group coaching sessions register here Ready to try a Different Strategy for Dyslexia. The one scheduled for July 4th is about helping children avoid Dyslexia, even if it runs in the family.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#dyslexia #empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #mentalimagery #selfdirectedlearning #wordrecognition #wordformarea #WFA

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Your child’s strengths for creativity….

types-1Today, we have young children with strong visual skills for creativity, imagination, problem solving and so much more. These are natural skills are in high demand for a multitude of 21st century challenges. They stem from having good mental images from our first days in the planet -how else do we recognise our parents? Mental imagery is their natural way of learning – but, great imagery is not acknowledged or used to help their learning journey in school. In fact creativity still can often be discouraged. Why is this? 

  • Schools teach to an outdated curriculum, and then measure performance against it, without space for  valuing individuals strengths.
  • Maybe their parents or teachers don’t value their own mental images.
  • Creative answers to any question may not match the national curriculum.
  • Teachers and parents have not been taught that creating mental images of words is essential for fluent reading and spelling in English, before or in parallel with phonics
  • Maybe dyslexia is becoming a “badge of honour”, but many others share dyslexic strengths without struggling with literacy. 
  • Children rarely get the opportunity to follow their passions.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.

You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk

Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk

You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk

Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott

My latest books are:

The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.

Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

You too can do health 

#creativity #mentalimagery 

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If letters move on the page are you Dyslexic?

Answer: Yes and No

Many Dyslexics see letters moving on the page, but this is often caused by a mixture of stress and having an active visual brain. The more the person gets stressed the faster the letters move and may even fall on the floor. So 20 years ago we explored what happened if you helped them reduce their stress. The result was that the letters stopped moving – magic!

Highly visual people who are not dyslexic can do the same when very stressed, or when they encounter a new complicated word.

So how do you help them remove their stress. Here are some simple ways to start:

  • Gently breath in and out through your nose right down into your belly, to create better relaxation.
  • Pick up anything you are trying to read so you are looking up, like reading a newspaper. This will help you access your visual field and get you out of negative emotions associated with past experiences. Many people get an instant improvement by just moving the book.
  • Make sure they start by reading something simple that they are really interested in, to build confidence, motivation and reduce anxiety
  • If you have permission gently stroke their back (Havening technique) to create calm.
  • Sit or stand in a quiet place away from distractions.
  • Don’t ask them to read aloud as that creates performance anxiety. Read to the dog, cat or themselves, until their confidence grows.

Using colored overlays or tinted glasses help very severe cases, but first check out the list above and see what you can achieve – success will boost your self confidence. Please let us know your results and you are welcome to come back with questions.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #dyslexia #lettersmove #mentalimagery

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Neurodivergent brains think differently, so lets help them learn differently

Join one of the free sessions to explain the role mental imagery plays in learning. Dates through to end of August now available. Take a look at www.visualkids.co.uk for all the details.

There are 3 different sessions, plus one new one and even a special for tiny’s to avoid Dyslexia:

Ready to try a different Strategy for Dyslexia? Struggling with literacy is no joke for you or your child. Modelled on successful people we now know exactly how to enable children to learn quickly and easily. In just 1 hour your will go away with invaluable insights. The event on the 4th July will be a special, giving parents invaluable knowledge to enable very young children to avoid developing Dyslexia – don’t think this is possible, we know it is.

Ready to try a different strategy for ADHD? Have you every heard mental imagery mentioned in the same sentence as ADHD – I doubt it. We know there is a huge that people are just ignoring. Come and join this 60 minute class and learn more.

If you don’t think your mental images are great, come and join Explore Mental Imagery and see if you can recover yours in just 1 hour.

Now how about our new class Support Your Highly Sensitive Child and Yourself. It will be released in the next couple of days and is bound to be a popular topic.

These sessions are suitable for home schoolers, parents and teachers – you will all learn essential skills. I have just updated the calendar to show dates available until the end of August. Just go to www.visualkids.co.uk and select whichever date works for you.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of Mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #ADHD #dyslexia #newperspective #neurodiversity #HSPs #mentalimagery

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3 simple things to explore about ADHD

ADHD isn’t just about behaviors. Once you understand what is driving the behaviors, you will be able to create a calmer life for you and the whole family.

What are the 3 key things I have noticed in 22 years working with neurodivergent children and adults. And these will help those people who are stuck in long delays waiting for a diagnosis.

The are regular FREE coaching sessions to help you learn more. Just follow the link a choose the best date for you.

  1. Are they a mouth or a nose breather? In the USA it is estimated that 60-70% of those with ADHD are mouth breathers. Join us to find out why and what you can do
  2. Disrupted sleep – lack of quantity and quality has major effects on what you can do the next day
  3. Fast moving mental imagery – Many people have extraordinary mental images, that are invaluable for all sorts of learning tasks, especially creativity. But they can get completely out of control, and move too quickly to be useful. There are simple skills to learn how to “make friends with your images”.

I would like to introduce you to some of the causes lurking behind the behaviors. You will be amazed how they give you different perspectives, for you, your family and your students.

I am on a mission to celebrate the gifts of neurodiversity, whilst reducing the negatives, through a better understanding of mental imagery.  You have probably never heard ADHD mentioned in the same sentence as mental imagery, breathing, sleeping and grounding.  These are some of the missing keys.

ADHD seems to be on the increase. Knowledge creates understanding and offers you simple ideas to turn around situations.

For example:

  • Poor breathing reduces oxygenation in your brain that in turn causes your brain to go even faster!
  • Being grounded can slow down your own mental images; a relief for a busy brain
  • stress from various topics like poor literacy, “Covid disruption”, school challenges can create ADHD like symptoms.
  • mental imagery is a fabulous creative skill, you can easily optimise how you use it.

Using your existing visual skills, you can conquer confusion with just a few simple “how-to’s”.  You have amazing visual strengths, and maybe time you learned how to use them more effectively. Choose one of these live sessions when I will teach anyone these skills.  As a bonus, confidence and calmness will improve too. 

To help parents whose bright creative children maybe struggling, this is offered for free. These children are the great minds of the future.

So click here to book your place now

Can you imagine how much happier your creative, imaginative child would be when they realise they can be happy and healthy without all their confusion? In just 1 hour you will know the answer for yourself.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #ADHD #confusion #newperspective #neurodiversity

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The Wall of Awful Literacy

Here is a very simple way to improve literacy for highly creative, imaginative students.

I listened to Brandan Mahan (ADHDessentials.com) recently talking about The Wall of Awful – a metaphor to describe how students get stuck and how they can start knocking down the bricks.  We can all build up walls to protect us from things we find hard.  Although Brendan developed this great metaphor for ADHD, it is just as appropriate to us all, when we get stuck.

It resonated with how we enable creative, imaginative, often Dyslexic students to improve literacy and numeracy through the use of their internal mental images, that are already strong for pictures.  So, this is my interpretation of the Wall of Awful when applied to using visual skills for literacy and numeracy, through the lens of Empowering Learning (www.empoweringlearning.co.uk). Thank you Brendan.

The emotions in these walls can grow rapidly as we repeatedly fail. What emotions are in your wall? – disappointment, rejection, fear, shame, failure, want to quit, being bullied, comparison with other students, worry, impulsive, feeling stupid, feeling ashamed of myself.

So, what can we do about the Wall of Awful for Literacy.

1.      Stare at it (freeze)

Unfortunately staring at the problem without changing your approach is not going to help.

2.      Go around it (flight)

  • Get parents to do your homework
  • Do only what you know that you are good at and leave the rest – the problem here is that the wall gets wider the more you practice this one and you get left behind.
  • You are also practising incompetence with the wrong skills.

3.      Get angry and throw things around (fight)

Many parents and teachers will have seen this one in action and although it generates a bit more energy, it is unlikely to be channeled in the right direction.

4.      Put doors in the Wall

This is where the useful strategies start.  How can the student start to change the emotions and create doors and windows in the wall? The object is to quickly and easily move the student from “I can’t, I’m stupid” to “I can do that.”  Some people refer to these as brain hacks or scaffolding. Note that 1-5 are just as appropriate to ADHD as Dyslexia and poor literacy.  The big thing here is to do something different rather than keep repeating what the student can’t do, that only creates more bricks as they practice incompetence. We need to see them turn on their learning switch.

  1. You can change the environment by for example taking breaks, move, going out in the garden, exercising, laying down, walking around, playing motivational music, etc
  2. Look up – things are looking up and you will be out of negative emotions.
  3. Work on the student’s interests and their strengths. Reading and spelling best relates to anything that interests them.
  4. Good breathing, sleep and grounding to calm mental images. Tracing a labyrinth may also help.
  5. Using coloured overlays or tinted glasses
  6. Check out simple primitive reflexes that maybe retained
  7. Raising the book when reading, will get them out of negative emotions
  8. Get out of performance anxiety by reading aloud to the dog, a baby or yourself
  9. Start with the easy stuff
  10. Scribe for your kids without changing anything or use Dragon.  Then ask the child to read their own words back – can be amazing
  11. Suggest reading comics that have speech bubbles in capital letters
  12. Write in capital letters
  13. DK or Barrington stoke books may help
  14. Copy down writing without looking at the paper
  15. Find just one word several times in a book, like squirrel and as they are searching see what happens.
  16. Write on the wall so you don’t look down.
  17. Make the student feel safe
  18. When someone is reading a story (parent or teacher), make up pictures or movies in your head so you can remember
  19. Apologise to the student, it is not your fault – you aren’t being taught in a way that works for you.  There is nothing wrong with you, the educational system is out of date for highly creative, imaginative students.

5.      Climb the Wall, you need hand-holds to make progress, which takes effort

Look at www.empoweringlearning.co.uk, we have a network of trained practitioners who have extensive experience in visual learning and in particular using images of words, to improve literacy and images of numbers to improve numeracy.  Join one of my Dyslexia workshops. You can register at www.visualkids.co.uk. Here is a summary of the steps:

  1. Give the student a brief summary of the neuroscience, brain plasticity, breathing, sleeping and grounding – why the topics above (1-19) work.
  2. Learn to visualise words. Practice with small nouns (start with the easiest, success increases dopamine/motivation and slowly get longer)
  3. Move to longer nouns
  4. Explain how to do non-nouns
  5. Check out other primitive reflexes that maybe retained and sensory differentiation to reduce sensory overload.
  6. Move away from looking at behavior to being curious about what is driving the behavior.
  7. Learn touch typing
  8. Read out loud to others
  9. Decode new words with phonics
  10. Reduce sibling rivalry
  11. When at your desk look up when writing
  12. Parents or an Empowering Learning coach can get you started.  Rapid practice of successes is essential for building confidence
  13. Visualise number triangles to help with times tables
  14. Use techniques such as EFT (tapping) or Energetic NLP, to release sticky emotions. Feel the feeling and learn how to release it.  Squashing it down, it will just explode later.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
You can check out some new resources on my learning platform www.visualkids.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

#dyslexia #empoweringlearning #neurodivergent # creative #olivehickmott #visualise

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Have you heard of Twinkl?

I was delighted to be interviewed by Dylan Morgan, Content Executive at Twinkl recently for his article Living with Dyslexia from those who know best. Several people contributed their lived experiences, that makes for an interesting read here. Enjoy.

Twinkl is a British educational publishing house, producing teaching and educational materials. They have a vast range of resources, many of which are free. For more information go to https://www.twinkl.co.uk/

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
You can check out some new resources on my learning platform www.visualkids.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #dyslexia #neurodiversity @twinklResources

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Research shows the need to picture words.

Can you picture words? When you spell the word GIRAFFE, how many Rs and how many Fs. If this is simple for you, you are most likely to be good at literacy. Every Dyslexic I have ever met, and there have been 1000s, is not reliably visualising words. We know that those who are good at literacy can picture words, quite often outside of their conscious awareness, until you give them complicated words to spell, then it is more conscious.

Here is the research that supports this:

In the 1980s, Robert Dilts used NLP’s elicitation techniques to model proficient spellers and published the NLP Spelling Strategy.  Tom Malloy researched the strategy[i] at the University of Utah and F. Loiselle at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1985.  Both research projects showed a significant change in people’s ability to spell accurately after learning the NLP Spelling Strategy.  These studies support the NLP Spelling Strategy specifically and the NLP notion of Eye Accessing Cues and Sensory Representation System strategies in general. They are reported in Dilts, R. and Epstein, T., Dynamic Learning, Meta, Capitola, California,1995,[ii] and elsewhere in many NLP books.

In the early 2000s, neuroscience detected the areas of the brain involved with reading.     Two neuroscientists,  Stanislav Dehaene identified the Word Form Area (WFA), which he called the Barin’s Letter Box  [iii]  and Sally Shaywitz, published[iv] a perfect description, of how the Word Form Area responds to a skilled reader recognising words rather than analysing them.  She also noted how non-skilled readers overstress their Frontal Cortex without moving on to recognising words.

Then we had the so-called reading wars. Where auditory was pitched against visual reading. Someone had to win, and visual lost because it was poorly taught. But no one noticed the child’s world was changing to be much more visual with the advent of technology, so why ignore this strength? Just showing someone a lot of squiggles that represent a word isn’t the way to ensure that they enter the word correctly into their WFA.  It misses out on the vital role of teaching the skill in a way that works for highly visual people.  Then the government dictated that the schools must teach phonics ONLY; making matters worse, it is not one or the other; it is both.  Phonics is needed to decode new words and mental imagery from the WFA, once you have seen the word 2-3 times. In addition, the WFA is essential for showing you how to spell in English that is littered with homophones and rules, words that break the rules, silent letters, etc.

The Covid-19 pandemic made matters still worse, with children in many schools missing chunks of education and increased anxiety for them and their parents as they realise they are falling behind, and often they struggle to help their children with phonics.

We have 1000s of children worldwide who have failed with the phonics route and have not been taught in a way that matches their strengths.  That doesn’t mean only doing the things you are good at; it means using those strengths to help you with any challenges.  Children who have failed the current system are traumatised before they are 10 years old, and this can continue all their lives.

NASA conducted a famous study on the creative genius of humans to measure how creative we remain over the years of getting “educated” [v]. What is the role of “divergent thinking” in preserving and nourishing one of the most essential skills for life: “Creativity”? The test results were shocking: 98% of 5-year-old children fell into the “genius category of imagination”, this number dropped to 12% for 15-year-olds and to 2% for adults[i]. This is shocking because our internal mental imagery, which is vital to populating the WFA, is being lost along with creativity as we progress through school. And “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Many adults’ lack of mental imagery skills may account for why adults find it hard to grasp the concept that mental imagery is a vital part of teaching literacy. Those good at literacy are visualising words out of their conscious awareness and those not good a literacy think this is impossible.

It is a simple skill to learn; young children learn the quickest, in minutes, often saying, “oh, I can do that; I didn’t realise I needed to!” The reason is they just start adding words into their images. Older children or adults take a little longer.

Word recognition is fundamental for fluent reading in English.  You need words in your WFA to recognise them after you have seen them a couple of times. The bonus is you can then access them for spelling.  To spell in English with a deep autographic depth and is littered with homophones and silent letters, you need to visualise words from your WFA.

When you are born, you have no words in your WFA, and the challenge is how best to populate and use images of words. Good phonics teaching can populate the WFA by accident for some but not everyone.  Empowering Learning is unique in discovering how to populate your WFA directly in minutes, with the benefit of NLP, neuroscience and its founder Olive Hickmott. She would have been identified as Dyslexic and ADHD if born later. The missing element was whether there was another quick way to learn how to reliably populate the WFA with less repetition to enable faster progress. 

Others have developed programmes such as look, cover, write, but without knowledge of neuroscience, which explains why it is only sometimes successful and needs many repetitions, challenges remain. People with Dyslexia are usually creative with great mental imagery, and Empowering Learning just builds on these strengths. That is why children enjoy learning these simple processes to help them with literacy.  Mental imagery is a vital part of learning for nearly every subject but is never taught correctly unless you become an elite athlete. You may need to include topics such as grounding and nasal breathing to enable students to gain control over their mental images.

If you wish, you can learn in just 30 minutes the simple principles of teaching students to use their WFA, in parallel with decoding new words with phonics.  Topics will briefly cover:

  • Making friends with your mental images
  • Keeping them under control
  • Adding new words for spelling and reading.

These techniques are fast, fun and effective, putting the joy back into reading and writing.  You can teach any age person, from say 4-80 years old. The process is the same for spelling and reading. Empowering Learning practitioners typically coach the skills in 3 sessions, with time to practice between each session.  There is an online course to learn the skills to be a practitioner.

People already agree that these students are learning differently, but Empowering Learning is the only route that explains how differently. They will be using their Occipital Lobe to support their highly visual skills but not to visualise words because they have never been taught. Note I am not blaming teachers because although every school signs up for multisensory teaching and learning, teachers are not taught how a child learns visually.


[i] Malloy, Thomas E. Principles of teaching Cognitive Strategies, Dept of Psychology, University of Utah, 2007

[ii] The NLP University Press, www.nlpuniversitypress.com, Spelling Strategy P1285-1290, Research P1109

[iii] Published in Reading in the Brain in 2009

[iv] Overcoming Dyslexia pages 78-83

[v] https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/19940029213/downloads/19940029213.pdf


My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #dyslexia #neurodiversity

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New Perspectives on ADHD

ADHD isn’t just about behaviors. Once you understand what is driving the behaviors, you will be able to create a calmer life for you and the whole family.

During May there are 3 opportunities when you can join Olive Hickmott, to learn about different strategies for helping our creative, imaginative ADHD students excel. 

I am sure you know all the symptoms of ADHD. You, your children and students are all expert in these.

I would like to introduce you to some of the causes lurking behind the behaviors. You will be amazed how they give you different perspectives.

I am on a mission to celebrate the gifts of neurodiversity, whilst reducing the negatives, through a better understanding of mental imagery.  You have probably never heard ADHD mentioned in the same sentence as mental imagery, breathing, sleeping and grounding.  These are some of the missing keys.

ADHD seems to be on the increase. Knowledge creates understanding and offers you simple ideas to turn around situations.

For example:

  • Poor breathing reduces oxygenation in your brain that in turn causes it to go even faster!
  • Being grounded can slow down your own mental images; a relief for a busy brain
  • stress from various topics like poor literacy, “Covid disruption”, friendships can create ADHD like symptoms.

Using your existing visual skills, you can conquer confusion with just a few simple “how-to’s”.  You have amazing visual strengths, and maybe time you learned how to use them more effectively. Choose one of these 3 live sessions when I will teach anyone these skills.  As a bonus, confidence and calmness will improve too. 

To help parents whose bright creative children maybe struggling, this is offered for free. These children are the great minds of the future.

So click here to book your place now on one of the next 3 sessions Tuesday May 3rd (7pm), Monday 9th (7pm) or Monday 16th (7pm). Or this will take you straight to zoom.

Can you imagine how much happier your creative, imaginative child would be they realise they can be happy and healthy without all their confusion? In just 1 hour you will know the answer for yourself.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #ADHD #confusion #newperspective #neurodiversity

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Are you Highly Sensitive?

My mind was blown last year when I discovered decades of research into Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) by Dr Elaine Aron.

Working with neurodivergent students for 22 years, I have supported many who are highly sensitive, experiencing symptoms such as sensory overload and exhaustion. However, when I came across Dr Elaine Aron’s research, I was intrigued to discover that high sensitivity is also considered to be a personality trait – found in around 15-20% of the population.

Highly sensitive people tend to experience sensory input and feelings more intensely than the average person. For example, they may have a more heightened sense of smell, be more easily alarmed or distracted by noises or become very distressed by the news or violent films. They can often feel overwhelmed by sensory input and they may also pick up on other people’s energy, which can lead to feelings of anxiety, exhaustion or simply not feeling themselves.

High sensitivity is not a ‘disorder’; it is not something that needs to be ‘fixed’; nor is it something to be lamented. Indeed, highly sensitive people may have a mixture of exceptional skills, such as kindness, intuition and compassion, but at the same time, being highly sensitive can bring its challenges. Many of the parents I’ve worked with have mentioned their struggles in supporting their highly sensitive children – and when parents are highly sensitive too this can become almost unbearable for everyone.

If you want to learn more about your own sensitivity, do consider taking a quiz, for example at https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/. Dr Aron has written several books on HSPs and filmed a collection of YouTube videos. There is even a child’s test here: https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-child-test/ 

These are in no way diagnoses but, in my mind, raises questions to be curious about and which often fit in with my approach to neurodiversity. The overlap between high sensitivity and neurodiversity is something that interests me (I have both). In my opinion they are certainly not the same thing but I am concerned about the number of neurodiverse students who appear to have been highly sensitive from birth, and how this, if unrecognized, has affected their whole development. I also wonder if some HSP students are misdiagnosed with neurodiversity?

Sian Goodspeed (bemoregiraffe.com) and I have been exploring these concepts and are preparing a presentation for the NLP international conference in May, that includes the vital concepts of EnergeticNLP. If you could spare some time to complete the quiz and give us some feedback, we would value your responses to the following questions:

  • How do you/your children score on the hsperson quiz?
  • Do you or your child consider yourselves to be neurodivergent?
  • What characteristics of this trait do you or your child have?
  • What challenges does high sensitivity bring for you or your child?
  • What benefits does it bring?
  • Are there any skills you’d like to learn that could support you or your child’s high sensitivity?

Please leave your comments in the blog.

These are all topics we plan to explore with our students and I would love to hear from ex-students or new pupils who would like a different perspective. My curiosity has enabled me to develop unique ways of looking at neurodiversity that has enabled students to focus on their strengths and how they can be better understood to mitigate challenges. I look forward to this further exploration.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My new learning channel can be found at www.visualkids.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
Recover Your energy– this book will energise you
You too can do health 

#empoweringlearning #bemoregiraffe #highlysensitivepeople #NLPInternationalconference #neurodivergent #energeticNLP

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