Brain PowerTreatment

Week Two: Polar Bear Club Leads Visualizing In Lindamood-Bell Reading Comprehension

Ducks in open water patch in icy HarbourfrontTis a strange thing to be wearing a light cotton shirt while one’s clinician (instructor) is wrapped up in a scarf and jacket. We’re still getting used to seeing each other from different time zones, different day of the week, opposite seasons. I noticed right away that the first Sentence by Sentence was tougher than the ones last week. More details; harder to visualize. My consultant had moved me up a level, as we’d discussed during my progress report. My brain immediately felt the effort, yet I’d begun with good energy for me. My clinician asked me more questions about the pictures than she had last week, and she introduced structure words.

I’d been introduced to structure words on the first day. Today I was shown via the document camera rectangular white cards with a structure word on each one, one at a time.

  • What
  • Size
  • Colour
  • Background
  • Where
  • Perspective (where I was seeing it from)
  • Movement
  • Number
  • Shape
  • When

With each card, I had to look at it and fill in my picture accordingly. Some were easy to do. Other words took a little more thought. I find that as I answer the questions — or in this case, look at a structure word and think about how the picture shows it — the picture I visualize becomes clearer, gathers more details, may even become more stable.

When I was given the choice for my second Sentence by Sentence, I chose the Polar Bear Club, for I’d seen many a TV news story on it. It was a bit of a cheat. All I had to do was recall images from those news stories. My brain didn’t feel the effort at all, even though I was reading it. I created vivid images in the instructor’s mind, too. When she began reading to me the first two sentences of the next story — a Multiple Sentence — I immediately felt my neurons straining, like weights being flung onto them and straining their little energy machines. Yeah, the two sentences had abstract details that the Polar Bear Club story had not had, and yeah, it was two sentences instead of one with many details, but the real issue was that I had no remembered images to call upon.

It’s harder to create an image from scratch. It’s harder when creating an image from scratch to shift an image when more details are given to you later in the story that contradict or require changing the initial image. It’s harder to keep stable a from-scratch-image for even a second. The Polar Bear Club images were solid, vibrant, stable. The clothing they wore easily shifted in my visualized image to bathing suits from Santa suits when I was given that detail in the next sentences. In all the other stories I read, colour shifted easily but not location (where) or other structure details.