Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Color-Coding and Visual Learners

Because Pamela's syntax is very basic due to her aphasia, we keep her grammar lessons very simple. Whenever she makes a mistake in her studied dictation, I write a lesson on the spot to address the issue. Yesterday, Pamela confused there with they're in the poem A Pirate Story. She recently finished stories with they and their in speech therapy, so I tossed their into the hopper with there and they're. Since it can be confusing talking about they're (or is it there or their?), I color-coded the three homophones, and we referred to them as yellow, pink, and green for clarity. Pamela, like many autistic children, tend to be highly visual and cue into visual patterns. Here is her introduction to homophones that confuse even adults from time to time, especially in emails in which the fingers fly fast. This is only an introduction because, for Pamela to master new syntax, she has to practice it through all three channels (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) both randomly and sequentially.
One reason why the association method is so effective for Pamela is that they encourage color-coding new syntax. This week, I am emphasizing three unrelated things: the possessive its, combining not with is/are, and subject-verb agreement for is/are. I code each concept with its own unique color. She has already had experience with possessive pronouns, negation, and subject-verb agreement, so three at one time is not confusing. When I introduce a completely new syntax, such as present progressive verb tense, it will be on its own. This is Pamela's copywork for today, which I write first on a dry-erase board, color-coded and in cursive.


Kathleen said...

Dear Tammy it seems like you have done a lot of research on Autisum. Our son has dyslexia and other writing disorders or as some say learning disabilities. He tries really hard but writing is very hard for him. He is in the 11th grade. do you have any suggestions ? they think that he has dysgraphia. thanks so much your stories really interest me as We want the very best for our son with learning to. Kathleen and Chris Wild

Kathleen said...

Dear Tammy, We use to belong to the CHEN group in Harford County. I think that you may have led a group wile we lived ther but we have moved since then. Did you belong to CHEN in Harford co Md ? Thanks Kathleen

walking said...

To answer the easy question first, no, I have not lived in Harford County, MD.

What aspects of writing are hard for him . . .
Syntax, grammar, and spelling?
Organizing his ideas?
Taking notes?

How are his oral abilities?

Is there a huge gap between the way he speaks and the way he writes?

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

ok- cool post..but the paper says 12/16/07...that hasn't happend yet...i think....who knows..maybe a whole year has passed and i didn't know it.

walking said...

Oopsie!!! Good catch, Queen Mum!!! I must have been really tired that day!!!