The World of the Gifted Visual Learner with Auditory Sequential Processing Difficulties
Visual Spatial Children: Learning Disabled, Learning Disadvantaged
or Learning Differently
By Cate Turner
The World of the Gifted Visual Learner with Auditory Sequential Processing Difficulties -
Jerry and Pat
I asked Pat (Person No 2) whether he could see a picture for every word and if he didn't I wondered how it affected him when he read?
Pat's answer is typical of how a visual learner absorbs the world.
Keeping this in mind I asked Jerry how he saw the world.
Discussing Jerry's words with him to gain a further understanding I determined (and he agreed) that the world appears incredibly slow to him, a lot slower than the pictures flying through his head. It would have to wouldn't it?
Using the spider web analogy again just think how much quicker it is to see the web, move on to the next thought and the next than to STILL be verbally describing the web.
Jerry suggests visual spatial learners have:
Looking to how Jerry's style of learning affects his ability to write, it is apparent that he still finds it hard as a 39 year old to organise thoughts into a coherent contextual statement.
Jerry also finds it difficult to form sentences and misses words that he cannot associate a picture with - in Item 1 the word `up' after `wait for them to catch' and the `the' after `by' in the second last sentence.
Jerry is very clearly `Right Right Brained' comparatively lacking in auditory sequential processing ability.
However, Jerry does paint an incredibly vivid picture about how he sees the world, and this without further evidence may suggest auditory sequential giftedness.
Although having discussed his answer with me, I know how long it took him to place his thoughts into words. It was a tortuous process for him.
If I had asked Jerry to verbalise the above words in terms of something like a phone conversation he would have, quite literally, been stuck. I can imagine the silence, (whether on the phone or in person), as he struggled to put words to what he was seeing.
Jerry had the time to formulate his picture into words, so eventually he felt comfortable enough to describe what he saw.
If Jerry was gifted with both words and pictures he would have been able to formulate his thoughts with much more ease and with much less time.
Even though Jerry can clearly `see' his thoughts he has difficulty verbalising them. Does this make him a disabled learner?
I asked Pat:
“Do you see yourself as a gifted visual spatial learner or a gifted auditory sequential learner or a combination of both? “
Pat has the same difficulties in sentence construction as Jerry.
The `and' in the first sentence should be a `then'.
The second sentence is missing a word after `I'.
The sentence construction is poor in the first paragraph with the last phrase reading `and I understand them' when perhaps what he means is he `understands the concept of each'.
Yet, even though Pat does not show the same eloquence in written description that Jerry commands I would call him more auditory sequential than Jerry.
I have had extensive conversations with both Jerry and Pat about many and far ranging topics, and Pat is by far the more at ease in the world of words. Whilst his written work reflects poor left brained ability his conversation is flowing, humorous and descriptive.
Pat simply needs to be taught a methodology to get the words that he speaks so freely, onto `paper.' Pat appears to be able to form coherent, thoughtful expression, as in conversational discussion, but needs to apply some of the strategies listed later in this article to encourage further development in spelling and sentence construction.
Does Pat's inability to write coherently make him GLD?
Pat can physically hold a pen and speak decisively.
His thought processes are viable and expressive and he can learn.
Is he really disabled or is he learning in an adaptive manner, a manner that is different from the norm?
Jerry pauses continually in conversation, trying to formulate what is going on in his head into verbal expression.
Jerry cannot, quite literally, find the words.
Of course this is in part related to poor auditory sequential skills and in part to Jerry's level of overall giftedness.
Jerry is classed as profoundly gifted at an IQ level of over 180.
According to Hollingworth (quoted in Gross, p127-128) children scoring in the IQ range 125 -155 are `well balanced, confident and socially affective individuals'.
However, what is interesting is that once children reach a level above the 160 IQ mark the difference between that child and their age mates is so great that it leads to special problems of development which are correlated with social isolation.'
Jerry's level of mental activity is so high that the thoughts fly around non stop and as such it is difficult for him to form one of those thousands of thoughts into a simple sentence.
I would assess, and again I emphasise that this is my own personal assessment based on my knowledge and interaction with the gifted community, that Pat is most likely to fall in the IQ range of 125 - 155.
Quite clearly levels of giftedness have a relationship to expression.
If a highly gifted visual spatial learner is also highly gifted in what Gardner calls Linguistic Intelligence (part of the Auditory Sequential area of learning) than they have the blessing of being able to formulate their incredibly creative and fast flowing thoughts into verbal expression.
Although Jerry is incredibly gifted in visual spatial thought processing he is unable to express his abilities and thoughts in a way that people can understand - he is not gifted linguistically.
Applying this determination to Pat it is easy to reason that due to his lesser level of giftedness as well as his inclination toward Linguistic Intelligence, that he would have much easier time with general conversation and everyday interaction within the world.
Does Jerry's inability to readily express his vivid and eclectic thoughts into English make him learning disabled? Or does it make him a different learner?
Michael Piechowski writes that:
Visual spatial learners do not need to be `cured'!
However, they do need to be accepted as different learners and do need to be in a classroom that accepts them and teaches to them.
© Cate Turner 2004-
© APDUK 2004-