TVTO Continuing Education | September 2018 | Visualization Seminar w/Dr. John Abbondanza
Report by Dr. April Eryou
I attended Dr. Abbondanza’s visualization course in September 2018 in Burlington, Ontario. This course greatly increased my awareness to the importance of visualization in learning. Some people find visualization quite easy, others find it very challenging. Visualization is the ability to create in the mind a visual picture. It can be a memory of what has been previously seen, it can be an altered picture of what has previously been seen or it can be a novel picture created by the imagination.
In the course I learned techniques to help people who struggle to visualize. We then learned techniques to help improve visual memory skills once a person has developed the ability to visualize. I was amazed to learn how important visualization is in not just in learning to read, but also in doing mathematics.
For the process of reading, Dr. Abbondanza reminded us that this is primarily a visual activity. We are currently taught to read phonetically. This is challenging for people who do not move reading from a language task to a visual task. Reading is associating meaning to a group of characters. We don’t look at the individual characters, we look at the group of characters making the word and associate meaning to what we see. This discussion that Dr. Abbondanza facilitated helped me better understand why some people really struggle to learn to read. This course gave me new tools to further enhance the vision therapy programs we have for those struggling to read.
I am excited that I now have new knowledge and tools to not only improve visual memory, but also help people who struggle to learn to read and learn to do math. We have been incorporating these new techniques in our vision therapy programs since September and I am thrilled that it has enhanced the success of our patients and how they perform at school and in the work environment.