When I started my journey into learning differences I was shocked to find that so many children and adults had multiple diagnoses; for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD or ADHD and ASD. My thought was that there must be something going on here that we are missing.
Having literacy problems all my life, and a successful corporate career I started with the NLP spelling strategy; developed it and learned how to teach it to those with severe literacy challenges and diagnosed as Dyslexic. Since those days, of the thousands of dyslexics we have worked with, 100% of them are not visualising words reliably, the skill that all those good at literacy use unconsciously. This has been backed up by years of neuroscience.
I have a maths degree and was always good at mental arithmetic. I found that those struggling with very basic maths are not visualising numbers, essential for the way we are teaching maths to very young children, under the age of 7.
Then I looked at some of the ADHD population and found that they had loads of mental images all competing for attention, as they made superfast connections between various facts, A > B > C > D > …..Z This is an amazing skill but can cause a major distraction in the classroom, as they leap from one topic to another through some tenuous link. It leaves the audience in total confusion as they try to piece together how the student came to that conclusion.
When it comes to the Autism Spectrum, students are simply deluged in so many mental images, completely out of any control or structure, this in itself causes more anxiety and overwhelm. When it is all too much it triggers meltdowns or withdrawal from the world.
A common theme that underlies all learning difficulties is Mental Images. They are a fantastic strength for creativity, design, problem-solving, etc. but out of control mental images can be a nightmare and overwhelming. And then you need to check the environment; being creative is great for storytelling and design but when it comes to a science lesson creativity probably needs to be turned down.
I believe, that we must teach our very youngest children, under the age of 7, how to use their images, how to control them, plus how to create images of words and numbers for literacy and numeracy. We know how to do this, it is just a matter of inviting parents and teachers to understand the vital skills of mental imagery.
#nlp #dyslexia #mental images #ADHD #Autism #dyspraxia
If you want to learn more go to www.empoweringlearning.co.uk, download 2 chapters of my new book “Why Bright Kids Get left behind” or take a look at some of the other great resources.