Visualization

Harvey and Goudvis’ Strategies That Work (2007), list visualizing and inferring in the same chapter. These authors share that visualizing strengthens one’s inferential thinking. This is a strategy to note with students with ASD because, according to Harvey and Goudvis, when we visualize, we are inferring with images instead of words.

Unfortunately, I have found through my work with many students that students with ASD are not always aware that there is supposed to be a picture in their head or if there is one, why it is there. Below, I will outline some strategies to support the teacher explicitly introducing their students to the need for and use of a picture in their mind’s eye of what they are reading.

An initial routine that students can learn is to stop and jot method, with the jot being to draw a quick sketch. This can be done through the I Do, We Do, You Do method, especially if students initially do not know what to jot at first. It can then be extended to include writing, once the teacher formatively assesses that the students understand how to engage with that picture in their mind of what they are reading.

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Stopping and jotting, or stopping, thinking, and jotting, allows students to realize that they do not always have to write what they are thinking. If it works for them to share that information visually, they can do so. This helps them understand how to act and interact with the visual that is already in their mind when they read.

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