I’m Having a Vision

Picture this, I’m discussing my need for a more structured program targeting a particular grouping of deficits that have been cropping up for me in a number of different kiddos—auditory memory issues, reading comprehension weakness, difficulty with “getting the whole picture”—and a colleague recommends Lindamood’s Visualizing And Verbalization program.

I’ve wanted to take one of their courses for years, after a zealous professor sold me on the Lips program, but I’ve never had the chance to attend.  Maybe it’s high time I did.

I pull out my iPad, run a quick search and, lo and behold, V&V is being offered 35 min from my house the next week.  I’m in.

It was literally brilliant.  The instructor was engaging and clear and kept us on our toes with direct questions and lots of positive reinforcement.  There was ample time to practice being both the client and clinician so I left feeling prepared for immediate implementation.  The book we left with is superb, loaded with scripts and real life examples and you there is lots of support (by phone) if you need it after the course concludes.  If you are looking for new techniques to address concept imagery (Lindamood’s definition:  the ability to create an imaged gestalt (whole) from oral or written language), I’d heartily recommend it.

Not sure who this applies to?  Think about the kids who read ok, but don’t seem to “get” the story, especially as the reading level increases.  How about those kids who seem to get parts, most often details, of pictures, oral stories/conversations or a reading passage, but the main theme seems to escape them.

I couldn’t begin to include all that we covered, but here are a few tidbits I plan to use immediately:

  1.  Word imaging:  We are accustomed to working on attributes and describing characteristics, but this takes the idea further.  With or without a visual prompt, I have some students who would benefit from creating a very specific image in their mind and describing it in detail.  Example, “I see a pair of shoes, flats, that you slide your foot into.  They aren’t very big, about a size 6 and look a little narrow.  They are a matte taupe color with a repeating pattern of diamonds and squares in a lighter beige.  I imagine them made of a canvas fabric, so they are structured enough to hold their shape on their own but easy to put on and comfortable to wear.”  Now granted, this description is one I would give, but you can see the specificity you want to draw out of a student to develop images.  (Curious if your image matched mine?  Click here.)
  2. Color squares for prompting:  Once we got to describing/visualizing sentences, we used a colored square for each “picture” to anchor our thought.  It didn’t matter what colors or what order, simply having that prompt was a huge assistance with our re-telling even of a short paragraph.  Re-telling/sequencing difficulties tend to be issues I see with kiddos.  The beginning and end might be ok, but the middle gets rather muddy especially if the themes or language are more complex.
  3. Higher order thinking (HOT) questions:  I appreciated the point that once kiddos have the big picture, you can’t assume critical thinking will kick in.  Often, these skills need to be explicitly taught.  We spent some concentrated time on eliciting main ideas, making inferences and predictions.
  4. Note taking for chapters and lectures:  Granted the students I work with aren’t generally at this level, but my own children are!  Note taking is not always expressly taught, and lots of kids get into a mode of taking dictation, to the best of their ability, rather than recording the most salient points.  The same seems to hold true for chapter noting.  I’ve seen plenty of middle school students writing down way too many facts and missing the “whole” of the lesson.  I’ve told my kids we’ll be working on this during the fall, and, you know, they were kind of excited.  Not because they love work, but because I told them that the techniques would actually save them time in the long run.

It was a jammed two days, during the end of my summer, but I was glad to attend.  It was well run, practical and the other attendees were interesting, fun and eager to bring new ideas to their practice.  As Nanci Bell herself says, “lucky us.”

Are you currently using any Lindamood techniques in your practice?  Please let us know what works for you!

I received a discount on my course registration, but the views expressed here are mine and have not been approved or solicited by Lindamood-Bell.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Katie M

    This makes me want to take the course as well 🙂

    1. admin

      There are lots of opportunities to do so, including shorter mini courses. Pretty soon you’ll have an employer to pay for it 🙂 Kim

  2. Kristin

    Cool! Do you think this course is for those who work with kids only?

    1. admin

      Kristin, I am SO glad you brought this up. The course appeals primarily to pediatric therapists and educators simply because that’s the age we typically address literacy, but it would certainly be beneficial for anyone struggling with the issues I mentioned. However, our instructor brought up a fascinating application–using the techniques with patients with Alzheimer’s disease (or other forms of dementia). I would love to learn more about the application for that population. Might be worth a call into HQ to see if they are offering the course in a more medical/adult setting. Kim

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.