Literacy for Visual Learners: Teaching Children with Learning Differences to Read, Write, Communicate and Create

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Adele Devine, Quentin Devine

Literacy for Visual Learners
288 pages
ISBN: 9781849055987

This book takes a fresh look at approaches to teaching reading, writing and communication skills. It presents a wealth of innovative ideas specifically designed to support visual learners, including those with autism spectrum conditions and special educational needs.

Some children are more responsive to visual stimulation than spoken words, and this book shows how to engage these children in literacy lessons by using strategies that cover everything from the latest assistive technology to getting creative on a limited budget. There are tips for sharing stories with children who find it hard to sit still, supporting reluctant writers, enabling the pre-verbal child to answer questions and helping the child who never stops talking to develop listening skills. The strategies are supported by practical resources, examples and case studies, to show how to instil in children the confidence to create and share their thoughts.

This is a must-have resource for special education teachers and co-ordinators, as well as speech and language therapists, looking for new strategies for teaching literacy.

Table of Contents


Introduction - A Fairy Tale.

  1. Visual Learners are in EVERY Classroom (Preventing a learning difference from becoming a learning difficulty).
  2. Learning Differences and Disabilities. (Autism Spectrum Conditions, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Downs Syndrome, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and physical disabilities affecting communication).
  3. Gifted Visual Learners Past and Present.
  4. Visual Teachers (Past and Present).
  5. First Impressions! (How we introduce literacy can help develop positive attitude to learning.)
  6. Motivation to learn (Finding out what motivates the individual child can be the key to engaging them to want to learn.
  7. Teaching writing right (Setting them up to succeed, by stepping learning to meet individual needs - sandpaper letters, stamps and pencil grips).
  8. What's in a name? (How names and labels give reading and writing a purpose).
  9. Reading (Practical strategies including teaching children who do not 'get' phonics).
  10. Sight Reading High Frequency Words (a structured approach).
  11. Visuals for Communication (An Introduction to Picture Exchange Communication and going beyond 'I want...').
  12. Augmentative Assistive Communication (Switches, buttons, android, eye gaze and iPad Apps).
  13. Actions speak louder! (Gaining Attention, adding meaning and improving communication through actions and signing).
  14. Listening and Gaining Attention (Becoming a good listener, Tutorials, Intensive Interaction and Attention Autism).
  15. Functional Communication (Within school and out and about).
  16. Implementing subject based TEACCH.
  17. SEN Assist (Teaching Literacy through the Class Computer).
  18. Drama and Dance and Shakespeare (Bringing stories to life using costume, masks and puppets).
  19. Look here! They can! (Believing in futures).
  20. Happy Endings.



"From the opening of Adele's book you know you are dealing with a very committed, passionate and talented teacher. She sets out her philosophy clearly and provides teachers with a wealth of activities. She also supplies very useful advice on many aspects of the difficulties visual learners have. A book for every staffroom!"
- Dr Lesley Hendy, Retired Senior Lecturer in Educational Drama and Early Years Education, University of Cambridge

"Adele has the ability to see the world through a child's eyes and explain it to adults. She can simplify the most complex learning needs and transform their differences into creativity and fun. Her genius is showing the rest of us their brilliance. A perfect book for parents demoralised by negative school reports for their quirky child and a must have for teachers who believe all children have the potential to shine."
- Clare Walker, Early Years Co-ordinator