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Memory Aids: Visuals

One thing that many special needs children struggle with is remembering what they are taught in school.  If you think about it, the majority of school involves recalling and using information you have learned in the past.  To excel in math, you must first memorize your numbers then understand and remember addition and subtraction before you can move on to multiplication and division.  Almost every subject requires the ability to build upon former knowledge.  So if a child struggles to remember things, it just makes school that much harder for him.  There are several ways you can help your child remember things easier.  The first memory aid is the use of visuals.

Why Visuals?

A visual is any  image or picture that goes along with what your child is trying to remember.  Visuals can be especially helpful for a child with a speech or language problem.  Every person remembers things that they see better than words they hear or read.  How many times have you been able to picture a person, but not remember their name?  For special needs students putting a picture with a concept can give them a mental attachment to the thought which will help them remember it.

Using Visuals

You can use visuals in many different ways as you work with your child.

  • Printed pictures – As you teach or review subjects like history or science, find pictures online or in books that apply to what you are covering.  You could even print out some of the pictures and use them in activities.  For example, if you want your child to remember the main events of the Civil War, print out a picture for each event.  Then have your child practice putting those pictures in the correct order.
  • Child-drawn pictures – Let your child draw small doodle type pictures next to notes on the information they are learning.  Remember the pictures don’t necessarily have to make sense to you, just to the child.  If you want your child to practice their multiplication facts, you could let them doodle a different pictures next to each fact while they are studying.  When you quiz them next, reminding them of the doodle when they forget a fact may help them remember it.
  • Cut up words – Old magazines are a great resource for usable visuals.  Your child could cut out pictures about what you are learning, but they could also cut out the printed words and use them.  For example, if you are studying prepositions in English, have your child make a preposition collage.  Let them cut out all the examples of prepositions they can find in a magazine and glue them onto a large sheet of paper.  Hang the paper somewhere they can see it often.

Putting ideas into picture form can make the difficult task of remember information much easier for students that struggle with language.  In the next post, we will discuss using motions as a memory aid.

How do you use visuals to help your child recall information?

Photo by:  studio tdes

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