How do I know if my child is visualising words?

This is a question I often get asked, because it is a hidden skill. But is is very easy to detect and the vital skill for fluent reading and also spelling in English. When your child or student is visualising words they will be recognising them, using the express pathway in their brain that takes less than 150milliseconds (less than a heartbeat) to each one in the Word Form Area. [ref: Sally Shaywitz Overcoming Dyslexia].

When they slow down to decode a word then you will know they are not retaining an image of that word.

There is one more trick to help you – it is easier to visualise words when looking up so prop the book up when reading, they will have easier access to the Word Form Area. If your child is decoding every word, it will be slow and with just a few minutes explanation they can jump into word recognition. Enjoyment and understanding will all improve instantly.

To learn more join my next free webinar for Dyslexia or mental imagery at

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me
Here you will find my learning platform for some of my training programmes
You will find other useful information and Practitioner Training at
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources:
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

#sallyshaywitz #visualisingwords #Dyslexia

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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