Has anyone ever had a child who just plain says that he has no mental image in his head? Today I was teaching them and we were making beach mental images with one page in the book A Quiet Place. I asked the somewhat-rhetorical-question: "Can't you see it?" And everyone chorused "Yeees," and he said flatly, "No." Later, we tried some others with different kinds of schema-- schema that I KNOW he has- and he still claims he can't make a picture.
what kind of little boy is he, maybe he just isn't getting it with a book to start. I believe I read it in Reading With Meaning but what about taping basketball or football announcing off the radio and use a big part...like where they score a touch down and see if he can visualize that. Also I think this would be considered more of an advanced skill but see if when you read a page or a story see if he can draw a picture. I'm sure these are things you have thought of. I know i have some boys that would be motivated my almost nothing but sports.
On a side note, I am so jealous that you are this far with you class. I feel we were really at a stand still at the end before break..I hope I can get them moving along. I have done one comprehension strategy (connections) and I am only on retelling in Growing Readers...how long did you spend on retelling?
What is this kid like during writer's workshop? Can he tell and write about an experience that he has had and then add details/go deeper? It's basically the same concept maybe he just needs to make that connection. I've had kids like this before and I just had to really dig until I found SOMETHING they could connect to and then dig deeper until it finally "popped" into a mental image.
I don't remember that part about the football game, maybe I could try that. I'm not sure if he's very sports-oriented though. Maybe I could let him hear the words to a show or something? Maybe play music? Today we did the lesson where they draw their image of a poem and he wouldn't. I eventually got him to tell me what the poem was about and he drew THAT, but he still claimed he had no mental image.
I'm really not that much farther than you at all-- I only did retelling for about 1.5-2 weeks-- maybe less? I forget exactly. THEN I did book to book connections, which it sounds like you already did. Then, because my kids weren't really talking well to each other, we did finding the important part and that naturally lead into author's message. We did imporant part and message for two weeks before Christmas just b/c I didn't want to start a new big strategy. We only just started mental images. If i've learned anything from doing this last year, it's don't rush. I'm really mosey-ing this year b/c I'm going back and forth between Miller and Collins. I feel like it's so much more solid this way. There's not a whole lot more in Collins that I'm going to rush back to, so that gives me mostly the rest of the year to really focus in on 2-4 stints with the rest of the strategies. If I don't finish, they'll still be better off than without all those Collin's strategies.
EXACTLY! He is horrible at coming up with ideas. I posted about this very same kid in the Rose Room in Sept. There would be dayS where he wouldn't write anything. I laid off, didn't force him, and he eventually came to, but he stills writes one story in the same time that another child would write three. He thinks slow and talks slow. But it's not his slowness that worries me. It's something with his ability to visualize- to imagine. It's so funny that you would ask that question, b/c I was telling a collegue that there has to be a connection between writer's workshop and this. I think that if I could teach him mental images, I could improve his confidence in writing and make him a better writer. Hmmm.
I remember an incident so clearly from when I was in third grade. I mean, not as a teacher myself--I was 8 years old and I still remember this! The teacher put on a record (Yeah, I'm dating myself!) of some classical music, and asked us to close our eyes and see if we could "see" the swans swimming on the lake. Well, I closed my eyes, but by golly, all I could see was black, with maybe little colored dots floating behind my eyelids!! I took her literally, and had no idea that she meant that I should "imagine" this picture. Why I remember that experience, I don't know, except I hated to lie, and I remember saying "Yes, I see it" when I really didn't! Does this little boy understand that he's to use his imagination, and not REALLY see something? Just a thought, but if that's not the answer, at least you have something to chuckle over!
Maybe it might help to start really small like to visualize his mom or another family member. What are they wearing, doing? And then become more elaborate and directed. Like - you and your mom are walking down the street, what are you seeing as you walk? What time of day is it?
I also used music when I started visualizing. We brainstormed the places we hear music they were so good at a coming up with places - at a wedding, in a car, while you’re cleaning, at church, etc. Then I played music and they visualized what would be going on to that music. We did this for a couple of days. I was really amazed by how vivid a picture they were able to get from a song. Hope this helps!
He is the exact same way with writing!!! We are starting mental images after the break so since reading your post I am anticipating the same problem. One thing I have found with his writing and reading is his oral language is REALLY LOW. I can't remember that one study or who did it (you may know) but kids have to hear something like a million words read to them before they are able to successfully read. Anyways...my point is, maybe he does have a mental image but it is something that he can't verbalize or draw? I'm just speaking from experience with the kid that I have and what seems to be his problem.
Have you had him try visualizing a movie. I read on another post that you read Charlotte's Web with your class. Did you take them to see the movie? Maybe he could get a mental image for that? I would be curious to find out if he is able to even do that.
Hello! I'm a teacher, but my own daughters have Non-Verbal Learning Disorder (also known as NLD or NVLD). People with NLD truly cannot visualize. The left hemisphere of their brains is much stronger than the right hemisphere- actually, their deficits are kinda' often the opposite of what we usually think of when we think of learning disabilities. The way that they are taught is via words- that is their relative strength. I say relative because one of my daughters not only has NLD, she also was originally given an IEP for a communication impairment- essentially, although her language ability was alot better than her non-verbal understanding, her receptive and expressive language scores were both significantly lower than average (yes, she is in small-group special ed.). My older daughter has 'just' NLD, and does very well in school, is in college-prep classes, and needs special ed. help only in math.
Have you noticed if this student also has trouble with visual information such as maps, graphs, charts, etc.? I remember one worksheet my older daughter had in which they had to look at a series of pictures and write a story to go with it- she totally and completely missed what had happened (it involved a bird that had escaped from its cage). Does the boy tend to take things literally, more so than other students (that can be a sign). Does he ever misread social situations (for example, can he 'read' your body language if you're not happy? or does he seem to need to hear you *say* that you're unhappy?) Does he sometimes have trouble following multi-step directions? People that can't visualize instead memorize directions word-for-word and sometimes forget some of the words, while the rest of us (meaning people who *can* visualize) tend to create mental pictures of what each step in the directions means, and then we rely on those mental pictures to help us remember.
Other signs of NLD can include being a good reader, being weaker in math, having written expression difficulties (very common), having social skills difficulties, and having motor (fine- and/or gross) difficulties. HOWEVER, the degree to which each of these is true varies greatly among individuals with NLD, and different deficits are more pronounced at different ages in one's life. It sounds like your student has at least the written expression issues.....I didn't notice which board we're in- how old is he?
Honestly, if this boy has NLD, you can't teach him to visualize, but there are many strategies that he can learn to help him succeed. Many teachers, even in special ed., aren't familiar with NLD, so I appreciate this opportunity to enlighten everyone a bit. If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them! If not, then this is just some 'food for thought' as you observe this boy for the rest of the year.
Thanks, everyone! You've all given me a lot to think about!
Maj- thanks so much for telling me all about NLD. Although it doesn't describe my little guy, I do feel enlightened and the more we are aware of these things, the better!
I think I will try having him visualize something he's really familiar with, like someone in his family or the Charlotte's Web movie-- his personality makes it difficult. He's painfully shy. That just complicates things b/c even if I ask him to visualize something very common, I'm not sure if I'll ever know if he can see it or not because he doesn't want to put himself out there.
I'll also try the music, but like some of you said, this may require way too much imagination.
dswan-- i think that your situation is more than just something to chuckle about. I know that what happened to you could really be what is happening to him. I have tried to explain that we aren't really seeing a picture- we're using our imagination. Teaching cognitive skills is soooo tough! I wish I really could open up my brain and let him see how to do it.
thanks, everyone!! We'll still be doing mental images all week this week, so i'll let you know how it goes !
If music may require too much imagination than this young man is able to conjure up, and he doesn't see anything in his mind when he reads except for the words on the page, would it be possible to have him attempt to visualize something from his daily routine? Something truly habitual?
Ex: Could you try to have him close his eyes and tell you what he sees when he arrives home from school daily? Where is the sidewalk? What color is the house? Is the dog barking? Where do you place your book bag? How do you arrange your books on the table when it's time to complete your homework? When you open your dresser drawers, what do you seen in them? Is your toothpaste in a cup or in a drawer? What do you see along the school hallway walls as you walk in line?
Things he is familiar with..........that wouldn't be much of a stretch for him to try?
Just wanted to let you know that about 20% or the population can not visual images in theri heads. Pushing this kid isjust going to do what it sounds like is already happening he is gonna get mad at himself because he cant' and go stuboorn on you. Try letting him do like some other people have said let him hear music or look at atpicture, or when you discribe what you want him to visualize instead of just talking about making a picture, let him "visualiz4e" in sounds or feelings.
I have a friend that is also a Literacy Coach and she says she cannot visualize either! We were asked to do it in a Making Meaning workshop and she explained that she has never been able to, despite all her efforts! There must be something to that 20%, which I hadn't heard of before!!
I can't visualize anything; some people literally can't visualize anything. If that child can't say he can't see anything, then it would be best to get it checked out - he might be telling the truth. I wish I could learn to though. Anyone know of any way to learn?
information come from? Is there a place that I can read about this 20% of people who can not visualize? It seems almost inconceivable that it can not be learned. No one has said it can not be learned, I just truly believe that with explicit modeling, one can be guided into realizing that they do in fact have the ability to do this or maybe that they have been visualizing and did not know that's what they were doing. Starting with the most familiar of habits, routines, objects, memories of course and building more schema from there.
I read your question about not being able to make a mental image in your head. That is something that I have never been able to do. I am 45 years old and had always thought that people were just kidding that they could actually see things in their mind's eye.
I love to draw, and need to, to be able to see it. I have dreams, but that is only when I'm asleep. Day dreams, do people see things play out while awake too?
Something came up the other day on T.V. where people were supposed to imagine a type of food and then imagine eating it. My kids and wife said they could actually see the food and see the fork picking it up and going into their mouth. Then to top it off they said that they could taste the food. That got me thinking that I was realy missing something.
I don't know if that helps you at all. I'm just starting to look for answers and maybe a way to correct it. It seems like that would be really cool to be able to do. It would also save me a bunch of paper!
I'm over 50, with a postgraduate degree. I write fiction and dance - both hobbies that need imagination. I have great difficulty visualizing. I can "see" my stories as if they're movies in my head, but if I think about it, none of the details are clear.
I'd love to be able to visualize because there are several weight-loss programs which seem to use self-hypnosis with great success. However, they all ask you to visualise a thin version of yourself then "float in" to that person. I can't visualize a picture of myself, fat or thin.
Someone suggested I start by visualizing someone familiar, like a family member - then I realised, I can't visualize what any of them look like. I recognise them when I see them, but I can't conjure up a clear picture.
I know that this thread is about a little boy in school about 2 years ago, so that may have already been resolved, but I just wanted to expound on the degree to which some people, like myself can not visualize things.
One suggested that maybe we could learn it by visualizing things that are familiar to us. Well I can not visualize a red square, or a capitol letter A, or even a line, or a dot, however I can draw you one, because I know what they consist of logically. I am very good at math, and my reading comprehension has always been very high.
When I am awakend from sleep while dreaming, I occasionally have a second or 2 where I visualize my dream crystal clear then if fades away. This is never ever the case when I am awake. So my mind has the ability to picture things, however while I am awake, my mind does not allow me to.
When I was in kindergarten, I was put in a year of school between kindergarten and 1st grade partly because I was small, but also because I did strange things, like check out a book from the library by writing my name backwards ynoT, starting with the T and going left, because I logically knew how to make each letter, but I forgot which direction to go. Someone who has the ability to visualize never has this problem because they remember it mostly by visualization instead of learning to build it logically. They see a picture of their name. I do not have that picture to go by.
I had a very hard time with memorizing maps and things like that. I do not have many of the other symptoms that Maj had mention that may be included in NLD, so it may not be the same thing that I have, but I will check into it.
In my opinion, the best way to help a child learn, who does not have the ability to visualize things, is to teach using other methods that do not require visualization memorization.
Oh one other strange thing about me is that I have a very strong audio memory. I can remember the words to almost every song, and the music too for instance. I remember telling my little brother things like, "that is not what you said, I can play what you said back in my mind like a tape, and you said ..." I think having to rely on other learning abilities more has strengthened them to some degree.
I also have a very tough time with dates. I can remember my birthdate, my brothers, my wife's, and both my 2 sons, but I can not remember anyone else's, including my mom, my dad, and my sister's.
I hope this helps some teachers understand exactly what they are dealing with when they run across a child who can not visualize.
Just thought I would let you know that I teach and have learned yoga and associated visualisation techniques for over 30 years. I CANNOT visualise regardless of the amount of courses etc. I "feel" my way instead and words are more important for working out images or solutions to technical problems unless I draw. I've met many others but we seem to be outnumbered by visualisers
It was agreat pressure to fel I ought to be able to see mental pictures/imagery
and since I let it go I have better value from my own methods
hope this helps
I have a problem. I don't know what I have. I have diagnosis of AS but i think I have NVLD only. I haven't friends and I am very low interseted about contact. I haven't good nonverbal communication, especially lack of eye contact. My contacts are very one-sided and I had social obsessions about one person like children with PDA. I have
unconventional thinking (many visual fantasies with agitation, strange ideas like controlling compulsions or shame about telling name of the "friends", bizarre ideas, fear of torture). I had obsessive and restricted interests (roads, maps, word stereotypies, walking in the circle from time to time). I heard "loud voice" very rarely.
I have severe obsession about NVLD and scrupulosity.
I remember my imaginative play when I had... 6 (cars and roads in the carpet, I think it was earlier also - it change diagnosis).
Do the person can have good imaginative play and PDD/ASD? If I have PDD/ASD? In my country NVLD is practically unknown. I haven't speech delay.
People with "NVLD" can present (from Internet)
- some idiosyncratic interests
- black-white thinking
- magic/bizarre beliefs
- idiosyncratic change of topic
- stereotypical behaviors
- lack of eye contact
- good visual-spatial skills
- good handwriting
- unusual prosody
- inappropiate social behavior
It doesn't seem like learning disorder. they can affecten in practically all areas without... learning.
I know several very advanced spiritual teachers who did have NLD. Different way of perceiving the world might lead to development of absolutely amazing gifts. So, please don't try make them like the other kids - develop their uniqueness, keep them happy.
Here is a little technique for visualization development:
If you are one of the many who frequently cannot visualize during meditation, then experiment with the exercise I call “accessing your memory of body feelings.” First, close your eyes. Then focus on remembering what it felt like to be riding a bike, walking through a park, holding a warm fuzzy pet, dancing, or even working in a garden. Do not watch yourself doing it. Get back into it as if you were there again. If you remember walking in a lovely park, perhaps you can recall the sensation of your arms swinging back and forth –– the sensation of the soft earth beneath your feet – the slight backache you had at the time -– the feelings of wind or sun on your skin. Simply imagine you are doing it again. If you persist long enough with this way of remembering, it is very likely that your meditation will be enhanced with some visuals. The act of remembering the experiences of your body during a previous activity can create a meditation complete with images.
I am a senior in college but I only realized 2 days ago that people could see images through their mind's eye. Growing up I never daydreamed and I hated reading fiction, preferring to read nonfiction instead, which had more facts and were more interesting to me. I never thought people were different from me until last Tues. in Philosophy of Mind class I realized that some of my friends claim to see images AFTER closing their eyes. For me the world is completely dark and nothing more if I shut my eyes.
I do not know how it is that I can follow a map's directions, but it seems I am ok at finding places (though def. one of my weaknesses). What confuses me is that my 3D rotational skills are good, but I don't visualize anything, it just makes sense to me logically. For example in high school, I learned CAD programming in a few weeks and can draw up any object with ease. Also, if I were asked how my bedroom is arranged. I can name the X, Y, Z coordinates of every object in detail, but I can't visualize anything. I think of an origin point 0,0,0 and then logically deduce say two feet up and three feet to the right will be my lamp. Thus no image is used to come up with the arrangements. It is just something I memorized from everyday use. Also, I can sketch a fairly accurate representation of someone's face. I just can't visualize it. I have no idea how this can be the case. My friends think I'm lying, but it would seem there are others who cannot visualize, yet function perfectly normally in everyday life.
I've asked over 10 of my friends in the last couple days, none profess to lack images in their mind like I do. It is simply frustrating to learn such a shocking truth this late in my life. I can't do the most basic human function of imagining with my mind's eye. I wish there was a cure or some treatment so I can experience this mental picture thing. If anyone knows of ways to treat this problem please reply.
Yes CollageKid my case is very similiar to yours, I can draw perfectly I can perform math perfectly and everything I function completely normally except for when I close my eyes.... All I see is a large array of dots, I can't see anything else when I close my eyes.
I have pretty much the same thing as collgekid.... it's good to know I'm not the only one!! If anyone does know of any treatments for this then it would be greatly appreciated, as to not be able to picture your own family in your head when apparently most people can is pretty worrying and upsetting!!
Please email any treatment information too:
...and please post here also for others to see as I'm sure everyone would like to know of a way to be able to visualize too!!
I can't visualize too. I realized that I can remember and imagine sounds clearly but when it comes to visualization it’s I’m not able to create mental images.
Visualization is a key skill to follow some memory and speed reading courses.
Here are some tips and thoughts I’ve been come to realize:
- I’ve been a bad observer and this is probably the reason I can’t imagine detailed objects when I close my eyes: because I don’t pay attention to details in real life so it gets really hard to bring details when imagining and trying to visualize. I’m practicing to improve my observation skills during the day and also looking at photos. Maybe won’t help to visualize but it will increase me memory as some books suggests.
- Relaxation techniques. Learning how to relax is a really useful. The minutes before falling asleep are good ones to practice.
- I use soft earplugs because I get easily distracted by any sound. Probably because my memory is more auditive than visual.
- Visualization techniques require seeing mental images, but also to imagine sounds and to feel sensations to make the mental scene as real as possible. Maybe the kid is good in imagining sounds or feelings and can start to visualize with them.
I won’t worry and keep trying.
Finally I’m sure I’ll be able to visualize near in the future because I’m able to do that when I dream and even sometimes I’m able to control what happens in my dream too: this means that my brain can do that with no problem and there’s probably something psychological what’s blocking me. Practice makes perfect and making little step every day helps a lot in gaining confidence.
I am in my 50's, and I can not remember ever being able to see images in my "minds eye". I have taken a number of meditation courses, practiced visualization (without success) and was baffled for years. My wife and I used to differ about my desire to learn lucid dreaming, because she can visualize (or day dream) in colorful detail, while all I see is black.
Just to balance out some of what has been said, here are some of my personal facts:
1. I played the trombone and guitar though my school years, as well as sang in the school choirs. I have excellent pitch.
2. I am a voracious reader of fiction and non-fiction. (Though I am likely dyslexic. Learning to read was pushed on me in Jr. High and spelling in rote memorization without being able to see the words).
3. I have fantastic spatial talent, and worked as a professional magician for ten years.
4. I remember the plots to movies, books and plays in fair detail.
I just can't see images with my eyes closed, though I see full color images in my dreams.
That's just the way it is. For over 40 years, I have tried to learn to visualize, and if it can be done, I still don't "see" how. <g>
I wouldn't hurt to tell children that some people just do not visualize, because I was in my 30's before I found out, and it would have saved me a load of hassles.
lots of people don't see pictures in their heads.
I'm in my 60's and only learnt from my wife 35 years ago that she had whole sentences running across her forehead in various colours. It blew my mind.
I've tried NLP, hypnosis and self hypnosis, but no success!
I was a karate instructor and dancer but never saw forms or patterns in my head, I always
made notes or drew stick figures and step patterns for future reference.
It's good to know there are lots of others who don't visualize - spread the news to all teachers and stop saying 'can't you see it in your mind's eye' as the pupil may not kow what you're talking about.
I can not visualise at all, zero. Completely black - all I can ever see is the inside of my eyelids. I found out others could visualise (much to my surprise!) when I was 18. I am now 31, so have worked on it for many years - still zilch no matter how many exercises I try.
I have good imagination and creativity skills. (some people consider it impossible to imagine without visualisation - but images are only one small part of imagination)
I have excelled at mathmatics (teaching at university by age 21), sports, business, people management, empathy, ethics, and generally understanding others - reading people accurately (no images in my head to get in the way - I see only what is actually there). I am very hard to keep a secret from, but this is not a choice on my part, the information is all "just there" in front of my eyes.
As much as I would like to, I can not paint, draw, or play guitar etc, despite having high levels of creativity, and dedicating years of effort to trying. . I have excellent hearing and music is my life, I can easily hear any mastering errors in recorded music, and using anything less than the best high-fi gear is horrible on my ears - I hear all the reproduction errors clearly on mid-range equipment. I build my own speakers. However I am unable to sing or play any instrument, or even tap out the most basic 4/4 rhythm.
The biggest issue I found in the earlier years, was trying to explain this to those who can visualise - disbelief is often the result. Visual people often do not seem to be able to comprehend those who can not. If you met a blind person, would you say "oh no you could see just fine - its in your head, just try harder". For some reason its ok to say this to the "mentally blind".
I have mild issues recognising faces(prosopagnosia), especially if someone dies their hair, I may no longer know who they are (until I hear them speak). I excel with spatial work and maps etc.
I found an amazing cure(patch) that worked, once, and I had full mental visual abilities for a day. I happened to be with one of the worlds top experts in computer graphics at the time, an excellent visualiser, so we proceeded to run various visualising experiments for the day - I could match his skills on every level. The cure was unorthodox, so I will not mention here, but anyone interested can contact me at DrVertigo@gmail.com
In closing: Dont worry if you cant visualise, yes I wish I could, it would be amazing. But its possible to be inordinatly successful in many areas of life without this skill - and I find in many areas its actually an advantage, as far as I can tell, because I see a more "pure" representation of the word less augmented by my own thoughts/images.
I have difficulty visualizing during meditation, as well. I do have vivid nighttime dreams. I can play the flute, self-taught, and I sing rather well. I love music of all kinds, and am an extremely inventive and creative writer.
But, when I lie down to meditate, and they guide me to see an ocean, or walk through a beautiful forest, I get zip, zero, nada - nothing. All I can see is black.
I find it very frustrating, because I very much want to reach a new level of meditation, and I would also very much like to speak with my Spirit Guide. But, it seems I cannot reach this level of meditation, at least not through visualization. I've even tried the Silva method, where you visualize the numbers 3 to 1 and countdown. I don't see the numbers. If I try to tell myself to see the numbers, then I don't feel like I'm meditating. I feel like I'm controlling my mind to see the numbers.
I suppose I am mentally blind as well.
I wish I could find someone who could get me past this block.
I know exactly what you mean. I only ever hear words in my head, and I hear them clear as being spoken, and I used to think I could visualise things until I started reading about how we're meant to be able to conjure up images near to hallucinations. I cannot even come close, so when I visualise something, it's just like I'd be reciting it out of a novel - not seeing it at all. I can also do stuff like rotate 3D images, and navigate with maps (but that's more like reading instructions).
When I used to think I could visualise things, all I think I was seeing was assembling pictures from blurry lines when I closed my eyes (probably from lights etc) the same way people see pictures in clouds. I also used to think that people exaggerated hugely what they saw in their mind's eye but now I'm not so sure. It's kind of gutting sometimes though, cos it's like the visual world just bounces off you. I can't visualise my girlfriend of 3 years even (not that I can't recognise her).
It's definately not all bad though cos you're head becomes like a news reel you can fast forward and rewind to any point, which allows my brain to be kind of like an auditory encyclopaedia (kinda). Plus, (and maybe I'm just speaking for myself) it's easy to recall exactly what someone said. It hasn't affected my grades or anything, just pretty wierd when I realised these people weren't kidding that they could see stuff.
This “unorthodox” cure that you mentioned interests me.
Although my memory in fine, the impossibility of consciously picturing anything with open or closed eyes has hounded me all my life. Life would become much richer if I could visualize.
I have been a strong chess player for the past 45 years even though I lacked the even the most basic ability to visualize. I simply imagine moving the pieces and remembering their new location but without visualizing. Only once in my life did I have a total visualization while playing chess, it was immediately after receiving a “spiritual” treatment. I looked at the board and began calculating a combination, i.e., a series of moves, leading to the win of the opponent’s queen. It was like viewing a magical movie of the pieces moving on their own. It was at that moment that I realized why Masters and Grandmasters were able to play with such accuracy: they could visualize dynamically all the time! And since I experienced it, I feel that it is possible to cultivate it.
Also, when I meditate static and moving images (“thought forms”) sometimes appear spontaneously but they have a life of their own. Here, also, I need to be able to consciously visualize and to control the imagery.
This post is years old, but to any teachers reading this- not everybody can do this naturally.
I can't remember or imagine images or sounds at all. But I have strong math, spatial, and logical skills. I graduated 1st in my high school class, and am the lead design engineer at a small company. No problems in school or work. Just can't visualize. It may be a left/right brain thing. Can think very creatively about technical problems, just can't think artistically at all.
As mentioned before this site is years old but as I have been searching for years for an an explanation for my dissability which is the same as the rest of the non visualizers I can shed some light on the matter.
Encephalitis is an inflamation of the brain caused by several viruses,measels,chicken pox and even cold sores.
This inflamation has been scientificaly proven to cause memory defects in patients in their middle years, and now a small vidio camera has been developed which records the events of the day for repeitition learning-remembering.
I assume that the condition is more noticable in patients in their later years as they have not developed different methods of learning, or ways to conceal being anable to remember visually.
The young child who has just been sick and cant remember who people are will be dismissed as being feverish etc.
For the Teachers out there who cant grasp the concept of a blank mind,first you need to realize that for you to recall an image, first you need to know that the image exists.The non visualer has the subconciouse know but not the image.
The student must be taught by differant methods such as phonics etc.
I discoved I could not Visualize when I was 20. Until then I thought I was normal, no idea people could see images in their head. I never did well in school until I went to College I treid really hard but things did not come easy.
People talk about reading maps, following directions etc.. they were always a struggle for me, now I realize I was memorizing all of the info and not visualizing it. I also have Disgraphia. I wonder if they are connected? Any thougts from the teachers?
I just found this message board and I am overwhelmed that I can finally put a name to what I have, Nonverbal Learning Disorder. After doing some research on this, I found out that it neatly pulls all of my idiosyncrasies into one cause. It doesn't fix the problem, but knowing I'm not alone and that I've overcome something substantial without knowing it is heartening.
Yes, I'll never be able to visualize, but I do dream vividly and take great joy in writing, so that's something at least.
I began teaching in 1987. I learned during my training that there are people who truly do visualize - something that I do not do. I did not know until then that there are people who truly do "see" things in their mind's eye. I thought everyone was like me. How fortunate there was good training to let us know that when we told children to "picture" something, not everyone of the children would be able to do this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone who does not visualize - it is just a difference. How sad that as a teacher differences are not being embraced, but rather seen as a deficit.
This is a fairly common phenomenon - close to 3% of the population cannot produce mental images. That is, they can recognize people and objects no problem and are often quite bright, so to speak, but they cannot call to mind what a person looks like in their "mind's eye". They recognize their mother but cannot tell you what she looks like when they are not looking at her.
If that is this child's case then no amount of coaching or visualization practice is going to change that. I have a close friend who is a brilliant physicist but almost failed geometry because he cannot picture objects in his mind. He can draw fine and is fairly creative but he cannot visualize.
It is important to avoid the Typical Mind Fallacy - that what is true for you or for most of the people you know is true for everyone. Many people who grow up able to visualize things assume everyone can until the encounter someone who cannot and visa versa.
My son is entering 9th grade and performs well (GPA 3.8+) in everything, but wrting. He has been through writing program at Sylvan in 4th grade with no real improvement. I have had him tested again and nobody can really pinpoint this. However, my son has always said he doesn't visualizes at all. He can recount play-by-play of activies (baseball games, concerts, conversations) from days to years ago. I asked him if he sees the event in his mind. He sas nope, he just remembers. He is good with maps and graphs, no issues there. Can his writing issues be tied to lack of visualization has some LD programs claim?
My son is a strong student, but cannot vizualize either; he has a terrible time spelling words, writing, and it's all coming to fruition that he may have NLD. Thank you for this post on going for years now ;0
You dont see things behind your eyelids. You let your mind take you somewhere else. The picture is not behind your eyelids in the darkness, but more like in your brain. A good example is think of what you ate for lunch. Your thought brings up a picture. You dont actually see it, but you think it.