Using language to help the brain notice spatial information
Much of what we understand about the world comes to us as our senses tell us about shapes, quantities, position, distance, movement and time. We learn to notice relationships such as the space between people in a line or the arrangement of the furniture in a room.
As we grow and accumulate experience, we develop the ability to quickly form visual memories for our surroundings. We also begin to notice and develop a sense for what our muscles need to do to turn the cap on the toothpaste tube or make a pencil move across a piece of notebook paper.
By contrast, people who struggle with visual-spatial-motor tasks often find it difficult to leave a space between their words as they write. They may struggle to combine writing on paper with looking at the chalkboard. Often there is difficulty visualizing abstract concepts like numbers organized in sets of ten or the concept of “next week” instead of “tomorrow.”
Reading maps, tying shoes, staying in line, visualizing a fish that fits into a 15-inch fishbowl, staying between the lines on notebook paper, and understanding a calendar are all examples of visual-spatial-motor tasks that are difficult for some people.
Applied Learning Processes teaches people to use language to help them notice visual-spatial information. By talking about shapes, sizes, distances and proportions, people begin to develop a better understanding of their surroundings. Simultaneously, visual-spatial awareness is applied to various types of graphics in pencil/paper tasks.
Graphics are explored from their smallest components (lines and curves), establishing a base for building the ability to understand more complex graphics such as letters, numbers, graphs, charts and diagrams. Students learn to use language to monitor their own visual-motor output so they can correct themselves and improve their ability to write, draw, and organize.
The concepts of Handwriting Without Tears are employed in cases where there is particular difficulty with handwriting.