Learning how to do comprehension makes all the difference

I met a delightful client, KT, aged 17, who had been diagnosed as dyslexic at around 12 years old. At 17 she was told she had the comprehension age of an 8 year old.

KT said that she had poor comprehension skills, poor short term memory, couldn’t spell and had to read sentences 4/5 times before she got the meaning and had any chance of remembering what she read. KT has recently read the first 5 pages of a book several times and still couldn’t remember it.

When she was younger she had tried DAT and the “Toe by Toe”, which are repetitive techniques. DAT had seemed to help her balance, but neither of them had been very good for words. In exams KT has a scribe and a reader for difficult words.

Her dream was to be a primary school teacher, but she was painfully losing that dream as nobody would, in her teacher’s words “who would want a teacher for their child who spelt so poorly”

I talked with her about her Art, she could draw an object in front of her and had done some lovely modern Art but found drawing/painting something from memory like a field of cows just impossible.

She has done quite well in Maths but mental arithmetic was a complete “no go area”. She was studying English at advanced level.

Her balance improved when someone taught her not to look at he feet and to look up. It is the same when someone starts to drive a car, you don’t look at the bonnet you need to look at the road ahead. In addition if you spend your time looking at your feet you are “in your feelings” no doubt running an internal dialogue about how poor your balance is and how difficult it is to walk.

In just 2 hours KT had mastered visual spelling, she could spell words like dinosaur, dyslexic and gorgeous forwards and backwards. She knew how to visualise stories, so that she would be able to remember them, do comprehension (by recording the passage she read as a story) and remember lists of shopping and the like. She would also be able to use her visual memory if she wanted for Art. She also realised she could write on paper without looking at the paper – an invaluable skill when you have a lot of notes or homework to write down from a blackboard.

Whenever she successfully visualised a word she grinned and laughed and the whole session was great FUN. She is now looking forward to a career perhaps as a teacher, and possibly as a special needs co-ordinator – she really understands what a difference the visualisation skills in Bridges to Success can make.

She was grinning from ear to ear and just said……
‘this is so easy, no longer all that hard work’ “.

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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