learning skills, Testing

The Door Opener to the Vision System

The SOI assessments provide information about an individual’s ability to process visual information.  Over the years, I have actually become more impressed with how hard the eyes have to work in order to actively engage the mind in the learning process, in remembering visual information, and in correctly solving problems with that information.

This is perhaps the most misunderstood group of sub-tests in the SOI Model.  Vision is thought of as eyesight, visual acuity, and the health of the eyes.  We are often told that an individual is concerned about his/her poor reading ability, lack of comprehension, and misreading words, and yet eyes are 20/20 and healthy.  It is not uncommon to have Ophthalmologists and Optometrists deny the SOI information that relates to low visual skills because the evidence is not showing in an examination.  The question then remains, “What is the reason for such poor reading ability and what can be done to improve reading ability and reading comprehension?”

The answer commonly lies in a lack of visual stamina.  When the eyes tire, Continue reading “The Door Opener to the Vision System”

learning skills

Learning To Read: Essential Skills and Abilities

How many intelligent children are failed each year because they fail to learn to read? How many teachers blame themselves because their students do not thrive under their tutelage?

If one says it takes intelligence to learn to read, everyone would agree. Therein lies the conundrum – what is meant by intelligence? We know that general intelligence is not the answer.

What if we asked a different question – not how much intelligence but what kind. If we ask what kind of intelligence is required for learning to read, we have a much better chance of understanding how intelligence is related to reading.

In order to answer the question, though, we must look to a theory of intelligence that validly and reliably reflects the functions of the human brain as a basis for designing tests that will allow teachers to diagnose the kinds of intelligence a child brings to school and match those to what kinds are needed for successful learning.

It is much easier to include intelligence training in the earlier grades, and it is much easier to teach children than to “fix” adults who have failed to succeed in school.

With studies, the specific and different abilities as they related to different aspects of reading began to unfold like a picture book – specific and basic abilities like:

  • Visual memory for details
  • Visual closure
  • Visual attending
  • Conceptual classification
  • Visual discrimination

Each of these intellectual abilities took precedence in importance over Continue reading “Learning To Read: Essential Skills and Abilities”

learning skills, Unique Issues

Parents: Take Your Babies Out of Those BUCKETS!

What buckets am I talking about? I mean those baby carriers that small children sit in while riding in the car. I am sure you have seen moms take the baby and his “bucket” out of the car and put the child and “bucket” into the grocery cart at the market or the stroller at the mall. When shopping is done, back into the car goes the baby in his “bucket.” What amazes me is that these babies seldom cry or act like they want to be picked up. Neither of my grandsons would stand for the being in the “bucket” one minute longer that they had to be. Sometimes, my grandsons would stiffen into a standing position so that it was very difficult to even buckle them into the “bucket” for the car ride.

A few years ago I worked with a third grade boy at my center, whom I will refer to as Bob. The SOI test indicated he was average on 8 tests, all in Cognition and Memory. He also had two low average scores, one in recognizing shapes that have been turned and the other in speed of handwriting. The rest of Bob’s SOI tests scored above average. These were high scores considering that Bob was struggling in school.

The IPP Screening indicated what caused Bob’s problems in reading and math. He had trouble with all of the focusing skills and all of the sensory-integration tests, with the exception of balance. Bob liked sports and his sense of balance was his only saving grace.

As I worked with Bob on the IPP physical exercises, I realized that his awareness of body in space was negligible and that he had not internalized right from left. At nine years of age, his mom reported that he Continue reading “Parents: Take Your Babies Out of Those BUCKETS!”

Testing

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

ASSESSING PARENTS AND CHILDREN: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

On many of the occasions where I have assessed both parents and their children, I have been fascinated by the results. Here are two examples.

Many years ago, I assessed a father and son. Both had a high incidence of gifted scores, were left-handed, and had significant hidden visual perception issues. In the case of the father, the vision issues didn’t prevent him from becoming a good reader. He attained good scores in English literature, qualifying to be a teacher and entering a Master’s program. The son, whose visual perception problems were all in the same areas, but who scored at a lower level in them, almost didn’t graduate from Grade 13 because of his reading and writing difficulties.

Both excelled in mathematics and symbolic thinking. The father eventually entered business as a financial adviser and the son, who had never read a novel or written a report without assistance, became an engineer. Both were very successful.

When I was managing an SOI/IPP program in an alternate school here in Vancouver, I assessed three members of one family. The mother was SOI assessed as she was being trained to help with the IPP program. The two siblings that were tested were attending the school and taking IPP training. The mother was Continue reading “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree”