Anytime I ask my son with Aspergers to tell me about a feeling, thought, or idea he consistently gives me a visual picture. It never ceases to amaze me at how he thinks of things. Today we were in our therapy session and he was told to talk about his family and draw them as animals. He incredibly drew accurate animals complete with expressions. The reasoning behind why he drew the family members as the animals was truly AMAZING.
Himself: A loving puppy dog. Mother: A robin with a nest of three eggs: one for he and his brother, one for his “dream sister.” “The mother never leaves the birds hungry, always protects them, and teaches them how to fly”……AMAZING. How about his aunt, who he drew as a bluebird (not blue jay, because they can be mean). Blue for her favorite color and she’s another bird, who protects her young. Finally, his brother as a cat. They fight like a cat and a dog but can cuddle and love too.
I remember seeing Temple Grandin speak a few years ago and she verbalized that her learning is translated into a file of sorts in her brain. For instance, a steeple is categorized in a file as compared to the very first steeple she saw as a child. Her file for steeple is constantly being added to and changed, but all steeples compare to that very first one she saw.
Parents, therapists, and teachers….I implore you to think of your child’s visual learning as a strength. Use this wonderful skill to truly understand your child’s wonderful view of this world. I promise, that it will truly amaze you and you WILL be blessed and touched at how completely organized and visually explosive his view of the world really is! What a true blessing it is to be around someone who thinks in pictures!!
By- Cara Koscinki MOT, OTR/L
Author of The Pocket Occupational Therapist- a handbook for caregivers of children with special needs. Questions and answers most frequently asked to OTs with easy to understand answers and fun activities you can do with your child. Order anywhere books are sold. www.pocketot.com