Comprehension difficulties have a significant impact on a child or adults school, home or work life. If an individual is unable to comprehend a passage or story this impacts their ability to learn from text books or manuals, process and retain stories told by colleagues or friends, complete simple instructions or follow along with a series or novel with long plot lines. This ability is required over a number of different tasks in life for both work and pleasure.
There are a number of programs that have been developed by speech pathologists and psychologist to assist with language comprehension.
One key skill in processing and remembering different elements within a story is visualization.
Visualizing and verbalizing in particular, as the name states focuses on the elements of visualization and verbalizing what an individual has heard or read to aid them in recalling key details required to comprehend language. The program teaches individuals to create a picture in their mind to help remember the key details within a story. For some this skill of visualization comes naturally however for others it is a part of the brain, which requires training to be able to utilize.
The program starts with simpler tasks such as just visualizing an object or character and works up to incorporate visualization of multiple paragraphs within a story. The more vivid the picture, the easier it is to recall the details which make up the object, scene or story. The verbalization element encourages individuals to say back what they have heard which engages multiple faculties of the brain to help with information retention.
These general principles can all help to assist an individual in improving their comprehension. For the most accurate and holistic approach it is important to seek advice from a speech pathologist that has completed a comprehensive assessment of the individuals, keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses. This ensures that the individual is receiving a healthy amount of challenges without becoming overloaded.
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This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have questions about language activities, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns.
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