One of the biggest problems for children and adults with weak comprehension skills is that they do not visualize the information they read or hear.
They may image only parts of what they’ve read or heard, making recall of the information very difficult. Because of this it is will be difficult for them to process and analyze the information, determine the main idea, make conclusions and predictions, recall details, and form opinions of their own. They will have gaps of information and will possibly struggle with writing and verbal communication. Some issues may include:
- Reads and rereads the same information or story and still does not understand it
- Difficulty following and connecting to a conversation
- Gets bits and pieces from oral or written information but cannot grasp the whole
- Difficulty thinking logically
- May be labeled ADHD or a poor listener
- Difficulty following directions
- Writing is unorganized
- Difficulty taking notes in school
- Difficulty with test questions
- Difficulty with oral and written expression
- Difficulty with concepts such as cause and effect
What are the repercussions of not addressing the issue?
Many students with poor comprehension skills are often undiagnosed by the school, since they may read and spell with no difficulty. As students progress through school, a comprehension difficulty can cause significant gaps in information. Students may struggle to express themselves either in writing or speaking. This can cause difficulty with relationships as understanding conversations, following directions, or explaining an event may be difficult.
What can be done to change this?
Since lack of imagery is one of the major underlying causes of comprehension weakness, this must be effectively improved. The Reading Therapy Center, Inc., utilizes the Visualization/Verbalization™ program to train students how to image and retain information. The program’s approach is sequential-beginning with simple, concrete material and moving to more complex and abstract material. As a student’s ability to image improves, his/her comprehension improves.
What other techniques do you use to compliment the Visualization/Verbalization™ therapy?
Many students that struggle with comprehension also have difficulty with vocabulary. If a child does not “see “ a picture of the word he/she is reading, he/she will have difficulty comprehending and maintaining the meaning of the word. When a student is reading a story and does not know the meaning of various words within the passage, it will be very difficult for that student to comprehend and answer questions about the story. Students attending the Reading Therapy Center are taught how to image words. Intensive vocabulary practice is incorporated within the therapy time.
Students receiving Visualization/Verbalization™ therapy are taught not only how to express themselves verbally, but also in writing. As students learn to image, sequence, and summarize material, they also begin to complete written summaries of what they read. Grammar usage and sentence writing knowledge is also incorporated when necessary.