Anyone else with a very visual learner?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2010
Anyone else with a very visual learner?
Fri, 08-13-2010 - 11:50pm

My daughter, Lilly, has been going through testing with her ped psych the last several weeks. She was diagnosed a few months ago with PDD-NOS, but he wanted to wait until she turned 6 to do the tests. I thought we were done last week. He told me she was definitely a visual learner and lacking in her auditory. He would have the report done before school started so I can get it to her 1st grade teacher when she starts next week.

Today I got a call that he wanted her to come in for a couple more tests after looking at her results. After she finished this round he gave me the lowdown. He wanted to do more because of the difference between her auditory and visual. Her auditory is below average. Average is between 90 and 100, she's at 83 which is 13th percentile. Her visual is in the gifted range, she scored a 131.

I'm not sure how to feel about all of this. Of course I'm happy she is gifted that way, I had no idea. But school is so full of auditory learning, so I worry about her.

He suggested getting her some speech and language therapy to help with the auditory. He's also suggesting visual aids and preferential seating away from doors and windows.

Anyone else dealing with a similar situation? He also suggested some book about Right-brained kids in a left-brained world, but the only one I saw on Amazon said something about ADD, which is not part of her diagnosis, so I wasn't sure if that was the right one. I will get to meet her teacher Wednesday night at Meet the Teacher so I'll try to set up a time we can discuss everything.

It's just been an interesting day all-around here. Today we found out she's also been moved up to the next level in ballet, she must be doing well in that also. I knew she was doing pretty good, but I wasn't expecting her to move up already. Then throw in that I found out I've been hired by the school district to be a bd para and I start Tuesday.

Sorry if I'm a rambling idiot, I feel like my mind is going in too many different directions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2006
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 4:00am

Hey, you ramble as much as you need too LOL. We have all been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

Most of our kids on the spectrum have Auditory Processing Issue's. They are mostly visual learner's although I know a few who actually have both.

My kids didn't qualify for speech but I insisted the school test them with an Audiologist, to help with their needs. Some kids need pref seating, some need to wear a headset thats connected to the teacher, some need a program called Fast Forward.... they are all different. You should have the specialist (a Audiologist, who specializes in kids on the spectrum test your child)

Also you have to understand when it comes to test scores, the reason you see problems is that there is something called scatter. Your child might be really high in one area, and really low in another and thats when Sped Ed comes in. Schools need to take the Strengths and work on that while accommodating the weakness's. And don't freak out on Strength and weaknesses because EVERYONE has that.

Now the book he recommended might be a good book. Asperger's and ADHD look ALOT alike and have very many similarities. In fact some kids get mis-dx'd in there early years because people think ADHD and it's really the AS that is what the kid has.

You are a good mom, looking for information to help your child. You came to the right place :). Here we laugh, we cry, get frustrated and then realize we came to a place that "get's it"



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 1:12pm

While it is not a definite 100% thing it is EXTREMELY common for kids with autism spectrum disorders to be much more skilled visually than verbally many being very gifted in the visual area.

I teach children with autism in addition to having 2 spectrum kids myself. As a rule in our district we use an INTENSE amount of visual supports in our autism classrooms and cut down on verbal language because pretty much that is what works better with this group of kids.

On occasion you will have a child with autism who is an auditory, kinesthetic or multi-modal learner but in general they tend to have auditory processing challenges and visual strengths.

My own kids test very similar to what you have described and even more extreme. My 14yo autistic son scores about 3rd percentile in processing (speed and auditory) while in the 140s for visual and memory. He can memorize 10 minute long pieces of classical piano music from visual memory after a few weeks of practice but has a hard time remembering even the simplest verbal directions.

That said, Mike is an extremely bright boy who tends to get As and Bs in school but still is in special education due to anxiety, behavior and social issues.

Cait scored much more extreme when she was younger but as she ages (she is 16) her scores are evening out more and she is adapting much better. Her biggest issue now is organizational skills. When she was 4 she scored about 1st percentile in speech and language and gifted in visual as well. She now blends in pretty well as a quirky, independent minded, socially immature teen.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 1:17pm

Forgot, just because Mike's auditory processing is poor doesn't mean his auditory skills are poor. In fact he hears much better than your average person which can increase his problem. He hears EVERYTHING (lights, breathing, etc). He has near perfect or perfect pitch on the piano and can play things by ear though he has to be able to concentrate and drown other things out.

Since he was small we found his wearing headphones and listening to music to be very calming for him. Music has been Mike's life line and we are currently considering having him evaluated as a piano prodigy as he has has nearly savant level skills at it. (I was reminded when I saw he had his headphones in my signature picture)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2010
Sat, 08-14-2010 - 2:26pm

Thanks for the replies. You guys are the best!

It will be interesting to see what happens when school starts. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. Last year just seemed like we were mostly trying to figure out her issues, this year we have to deal with them.

I have several friends that are elementary teachers, a few of which teach at Lilly's school. They have been so helpful and I know between my determination to help her succeed and their advice with dealing with the system things will be ok. I just worry about the road to get her there.

I also hope that my working in the district, that will give me some personal insight. The kids I will be working with are severe bd so I'm sure I will learn some tricks to dealing with her behavioral quirks.

Lilly (6) PDD-NOS