Here is a short video about how mental imagery can change poor literacy for anyone. The first 2 were in special needs school. The last student on the gifted and talented register and below is his story in his own words
The first student I met who had been identified as gifted and talented, bowled me over with his skills for using mental imagery; this was undoubtedly the source of his exceptional skills.
He wanted to tell you his own story: “My name is Ben, and I’m eight years old. I found out I was dyslexic one year ago when I was 7 and a half. I went for the dyslexia test because I wasn’t good at reading or spelling or handwriting. I felt a bit confused at school, and like I was missing out on some lessons. I also felt slow and not clever when we had to read at school.
After I found out I was dyslexic my mum took me to meet Olive Hickmott. She taught me how to visualise words by taking pictures with my mind. The first word she taught me was ‘train’; she wrote it on a Post-it note, and I had to imagine a picture of a train and put a picture of the word on it. Once I had a picture in my mind of the word, I could read the letters to spell the word, I could even read them backwards. It sounds a bit complicated, but I found it easy to do. Then I practised at home with ten words a day. Olive told us to use words from something I was interested in, so I chose Harry Potter. I felt very proud of myself when I could spell Dumbledore and Voldemort forwards and backwards!
Since seeing Olive, I feel much more confident at reading and spelling at school. I usually get full marks on spelling tests and learning my spellings is very quick and easy. It only takes me about 5 seconds to visualise a word. I read much faster now, and I enjoy it more.
It was good that I found out I was dyslexic and went to see Olive because I now feel happier, much smarter and more confident at school.” Ben has exceptional mental imagery skills, and I am delighted he found out how to use them so quickly for literacy. It’s a pity he wasn’t taught when he was much younger. It would have avoided any feeling of not being smart for this highly intelligent young boy.
You can read more about these visualisation techniques and more case studies in the book The Elephants in The Classroom – uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning, available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Kindle.
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