Neurodiversity Celebration Week: Creativity, imagination and generation of new ideas

EPIC students can have exceptional artistic talent. They may be envied by painters, artists, designers, musicians, photographers, writers and comedians. They understand pictures more than words – hence the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words.” They may develop careers in the film industry, playing scenes forwards and even backwards in their imagination.  They can also edit and re-run scenes before having to commit to the cutting room floor. Directors can jump into the character and know how to play the scene and then instantaneously stand back in their minds to see how the audience responds. 

They may have new ideas appearing at lightning speed, sometimes too fast for others to keep up with them!  Several companies now deliberately recruit EPIC employees, including Microsoft, GCHQ, NASA (see their research[i]), the armed forces and even a design house in New York that only employs those with these skills.

Fashion designers can easily imagine a dress that doesn’t exist, going on to design it, working out how to construct it, and finishing the job. 

Architects possess similar skills for imagining and constructing buildings, slicing and dicing in their mind’s eye, to see the internal layouts and often designing whole towns.

For some their drawing skills are often in advance of their developmental age.  Others get frustrated by not being able to transfer onto paper their great imagery, and won’t draw.

Whilst talking with Archie he suddenly announced, when I asked him to picture a giraffe, that he could choose to see a real coloured picture, if he had encountered a real one, or a hand drawing if he had seen one in books or on the TV; a skill in itself.
In addition, he had a split screen in his memory, with one main picture, plus a row of pictures along the bottom of the screen so he could flick through them like using a mobile phone screen. (We called this skill his flip screen.)
When it came to checking how he could use this skill for misspelt words, I gave him the idea to cross out a misspelt word and put a big tick across the correct ones. Almost instantly, the correct one was large and the other incorrect spellings suddenly appeared, each with a cross on them.
Wonderful creativity and generalisations. 

Many people are familiar with being able to visualise goals and get such clear images that they actualy manifest their desires.  Being able to visulaise a healthy outcome can be really helpful to aiding your recovery from a health challenge.

If you notice a child laughing out of context that may well be due to him seeing mental images he finds very amusing.

Don was making progress with literacy, and he suddenly broke out into peals of laughter. His dad asked him to concentrate, but he couldn’t stop laughing. I asked him what mental images he was seeing. He managed to answer in between giggles “Tennis,” “doubles” and finally “there are two Alsatians playing tennis with two Cockerpoos!” By this time, we were all laughing. What a lovely creative brain Don has.


[i] We are born creative geniuses and the education system dumbs us down, according to NASA scientists.  NASA had contacted Dr George Land and Beth Jarman to develop a highly specialized test that would give it the means to effectively measure the creative potential of NASA’s rocket scientists and engineers. The test turned out to be very successful for NASA’s purposes, but the scientists were left with a few questions: Where does creativity come from? Are some people born with it or is it learned? Or does it come from our experience?  The scientists then gave the test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5. What they found shocked them. https://ideapod.com/born-creative-geniuses-education-system-dumbs-us-according-nasa-scientists/. Here are the results:

Age 4-5: 98% genius creativity
Age 10: 30% genius creativity
Age 15: 12% genius creativity
Adult: 2% genius creativity

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 information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
This is an extract from my latest book:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery You will find more examples in
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#creativegenius #theelephantsintheclassroom #empoweringlearning #NASA #creativity #genius

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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