The Visual Reading Method is based on clinical research with individual learners who upon testing, exhibit strong visual learning abilities and more dysfunctional learning areas in auditory processing. Dr. Voelz searched the literature to attempt to find materials that would initiate this learning process and discovered a major void in this area. She ultimately developed the Visual Reading Method to offer options of reading materials for visual learners. Additionally, the Visual Reading Method uses broad spectrum educational learning principles within the Visual Reading Method so that theories of neurocognitive development, neuroeducational strengths and interests, and techniques within the field of brain strength learning are utilized.
The vocabulary in the Visual Reading Method takes the child to a 3rd grade reading vocabulary and utilizes the 300 most used words in the English language.
Neurocognitive Development Theory
Neurocognitive Development Theory suggests that most children are ready to learn the phonetic parts of reading when their auditory perceptual and auditory memory abilities have reached age appropriate developmental levels. This would include: Around age 6 for females and age 7 for males. Considering the wide range of individual differences, that could leave as many as 40% of students in a first grade class without the developmentally appropriate brain strengths to efficiently and effectively begin the reading process. This most likely ends up with a child who feels frustration, low self-esteem and often, a disinterest or dislike for reading. The VISUAL developmental learning readiness system begins much earlier. Children easily begin to learn some complicated picture material by the time they are two years old.
Strength Based Psychology
New movements in Strength Based Psychology include the use of the clients strengths of learning, personality, behavioral traits, intelligence and thinking styles to help create change within the individual. Self-esteem tends to be enhanced when strengths are used both in therapeutic and learning situations.
About Brain Strength Learning:
Educational neuropsychology is, in essence, the neuropsychology of learning or, the diagnosis and use of strengths within the cognitive/intellectual abilities of the learner. It includes theories of learning, personality, intelligence, and recent information on the brain and learning. For simplicity we will use the term Strength Based Learning or Brain Strength Learning to describe this process.
Clinical research indicates that learning occurs more efficiently when the learner experiences interest and ability in the material. Most of us have strengths within learning areas and, as behavior predicts, we tend to like what we do best and do best what we like. This approach to learning has neurological and psychological implications for efficacy within individual populations of children and the process of learning to read.
Reading Strengths and Dyslexia
It appears most facilitating to use the term Reading Strength Typesamong children with dyslexia. Dyslexia is often described in the literature as either dysphonetic dyslexia or visual/perceptual dyslexia. Research strongly indicates dysfunctional areas within the brain that produce these strong approach difficulties. The treatment process may remediate the weakness, teach through the strength, or use both treatments, i.e. multisensory reading strategies or programs. The Visual Reading Method was developed to utilize learning strengths and cognitively compatible learning approaches to reading in children with dysphonetic dyslexia. Dysphonetic dyslexia is described as difficulty learning to read because the child has sustained problems learning phonemic awareness and other auditory processing skills including auditory sequencing and auditory memory. Vowell sounds are particularly difficult because vowel sounds are usually inconsistent. Discrimination of vowel sounds is also a function of developmental readiness, i.e. some children in first grade may not be developmentally ready to auditorily discriminate vowel sound differences. The Voelz Visual starts with neurocognitive visual techniques but recommends the use of visual phonics after the initial 300 word visual process is completed.
Reading Strengths and ADHD
Recent research utilizing brain imaging technology demonstrates that ADHD children process reading in the visual structural areas of the brain. Neuropsychological research tends to indicate that the majority of ADHD people are visual processors by choice and by intellectual strengths. Visual material also greatly enables the ability of ADHD person to focus. The color categorization also enhances the interest level of the ADHD child.
Reading Strengths and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum research indicates that autistic children process the majority of learning material in the visual spatial area. Autistic people think in pictures. A high functioning autistic woman, Temple Grandin, author of the book Thinking in Pictures, earned a doctoral degree. High functioning autistic children can learn to read which may enable stronger communication links for people with this disorder. Most people with ADHD and Dysphonetic Dyslexia also think in pictures.
English as a Second Language Learners
English as a second language progresses quickly in a visual vocabulary reading
program allowing the learner to learn English more efficiently with the pictorial
Early Learners: Pre-school Reading
The Visual Reading Method works very well for pre-school age children ages 4 and 5. It uses their developmental visual and categorization strengths and allows them to engage and enjoy the reading process at an early age. A jump start on reading also helps the pre-school child development strong interest.