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Visual learners

(12 Posts)
LittleRedBonferroni Mon 19-Nov-12 14:58:20

I've named changed for this. My dd is yr 3. The school have just had some rounds of testing and I was especially interested in her non-verbal reasoning Cat score which was 140+, so off-scale. This indeed tallies with our experience and it seems dd is a predominantly visual learner.

Although she is well ahead in all areas I think she has a relative weakness in verbal fluency. She's never been the most talkative child and sometimes struggles to express herself. I think, for example, that this limits her writing skills. I know writing is often behind reading - but I think this widens the gap (5 years ahead in reading comprehension but barely 2 for writing). She's fantastic at art and all things design/art related. Excellent math reasoning but allergic to times tables hmm

I was wondering if any of you have experience of this learning style and what kinds of strategies did or didn't work. We are currently waiting to be called into school to talk over - well - not sure what yet. It strikes me that schools are generally not really set up for this kind of learning style.

I am a bit anxious about dd. She is very shy and not very confident so I don't want any undue pressure on her - OTOH - I don't want her left day-dreaming in the corner either (as I did and I know she is prone to do). Socially she is quite secure and has a group of regular playmates.

warmmagnolia Thu 22-Nov-12 11:20:30

Mmmm interesting, but you have not said what the verbal reasoning score is.
I have a child who is very high on verbal reasoning, can sometimes seem to struggle to with expression, but I have linked this to confidence rather than lack of verbal skills. My child also is very socially secure and like yours is waaaay ahead for comprehension but less so for writing, probably something like a 3 year gap.

Mine is also highly allergic to times tables! I spent hours and hours over the summer trying to teach them via different media: music, computer games, verbal rote and it would be learnt, but forgotten within a few days! We despaired that such a seemingly bright child who appears to learn other things with considerable ease should find this so difficult. Soooooo, we gave it a break and now school have been testing and now it is 100% with each test, with barely any additional learning. So again, I think it was a confidence thing.

Not sure I have added much to your dilemma but really if the verbal reasoning is much lower than the non verbal then this would be your answer, that your child is definitely a visual learner. It is quite unusual to have big differences in the scores but it could give rise to confidence issues in itself and of course the class room and most learning is better geared to verbal learning. If the verbal reasoning is really low it might be good to get an Educational Psychologist assessment to find out what is going on and to recommend classroom strategies.

LittleRedBonferroni Fri 23-Nov-12 09:28:15

That's interesting that your dc has high verbal reasoning but similar other traits. Dd doesn't have a verbal score for comparison - literacy was done with some other age-standardising tests. So I freely confess to some speculation here based on two things - firstly that visual learning is associated with high non-verbal skills and that does fit things we have observed about dd in the way she does/talks about things - and secondly, her nonverbal score was so high that I would be frankly astonished to find her verbal score was as high (I'd expect it to be above average but certainly not off-scale).

She certainly isn't very confident so it is probably wise to think about how much that is impacting on her work. I'm not crazy about subjecting her to too much testing (although she didn't mind the schools tests) but I would like to find out for sure whether I'm right about this.

warmmagnolia Fri 23-Nov-12 11:04:10

I would not assume that your daughter's verbal reasoning scores are lower than the non-verbal; the two are normally very close together! The fact that she has high levels of comprehension in reading suggests that she does in fact have high levels of verbal reasoning too. I say this as someone who does occupational testing.

A spikey profile '"can" be suggestive of learning difficulties in certain areas but could also simply be an inherited strength and preference for a style of learning. It is much more likely that your daughter is high in both areas and reading actually uses an interplay of both visual and verbal learning.

LittleRedBonferroni Fri 23-Nov-12 11:22:12

That's very helpful, thanks.

losingtrust Sat 01-Dec-12 21:27:30

My dd is similar. She can work out money in split seconds but times tables not so much. Intact neither child of mine and both visual learner a as am I. I am now using an abacus with dd and she has taken to it really well as she loves touching and seeing. Also good at art. You can learn times tables this way and much better for visual learned. I also use mind maps with ds who is older as I managed to pass all my professiknal exams really easily as soon as I started using these.

bumbez Tue 04-Dec-12 19:43:11

I've just searched 'visual learner' on mumsnet and found your thread. My dd year 3 is also I'm beginning to realise a visual learner. She just seems to have a different way of remembering things, eg she recently told me she can see a whole number line in her head which is how she solves maths problems.

She is amazing at art but struggled to remmber numbers and letters. When assessed in year 1 was 95th centile for problem solving type skill but 45 centile for literacy.

She was assessed in year 2 for dyslexia and isn't.

She is falling behind her peers and I really want to find other ways to help her.

I'm also about to get her eyes tested.

bumbez Tue 04-Dec-12 19:45:13

Remember blush

LittleRedBonferroni Thu 06-Dec-12 12:21:15

Hi Bumbez - I am not educational expert, but if she is 95th for problem solving but falling behind her peers I think that is practically the definition of a learning difficulty, i.e. something that causes the child not to learn as you would expect given their cognitive skills. Could be worth looking into. The problem, unfortunately, is that she probably isn't doing badly enough to trigger this kind of help.

losingtrust - I will definitely try using mindmaps with dd.

Niceweather Thu 06-Dec-12 14:38:30

Just wondering if they did a full assessment for dyslexia or just a screening? My DS has dyslexia but passed a school screening test. He has similar large discrepancies but school may not be interested unless you are 2 years behind average rather than 2 years behind your HLP which would put you in the average range or slightly below and therefore not be seen as a problem.

Try doing a search on Twice Exceptional, 2E, Stealth Dyslexia.

bumbez Thu 06-Dec-12 17:27:09

I think they just did a screening test, and she is as you say falling just below average so the school aren't that worried.

She does get extra help at school but is quite despondent as she is in an all boy group who largely just mess around.

I am straight to google those things nice weather thank you, what happened to your ds once he was diagnosed?

Niceweather Thu 06-Dec-12 20:45:07

Unfortunately not much Bumbez. He's underachieving but not by enough to trigger much help. He did get some extra help with spelling and maths at Junior school. Now he's at secondary and he uses a laptop, has tests printed in large fonts, he sits near the front and he's in top or second sets despite his spelling and writing difficulties.

I have tried to boost my DS's confidence by telling him all the positive things about being dyslexic (art & design) - try another google! Not forgetting of course that dyslexia might not be the problem for your DD.

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