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TACTILE LEARNING 

Learning is an interactive process and for some people the more interaction leads to increased information absorption. For children, youth and adults living with FASD learning needs encompass more then just auditory and visual learning, they must often rely heavily on kinesthetic practices.

FASD often affects the brain by slowing down processing speeds and disrupting one's ability to recall information when it is needed to complete a task or recall an outcome.  Often we recommended for anyone living with FASD to have different reference points for accessing stored information. For example, rather than teaching a child how to write the alphabet in the most logical way, we suggest putting a pencil in their hand and asking them to trace the shapes. This will allow them to use other skills and memory pathways creating different frames of reference to draw on in the future.

In the picture below, a child is touching raised lettering so they may feel how the letter is shaped and form new pathways in their brain. These new pathways are complimented by those pathways that typical visual learning create.

This same experience can be called into play for later life as well. Children should be granted the opportunity to watch the laundry being done for long periods of time, sometimes even years before the process is done by themselves. Creating strong visual pathways will compliment the kinesthetic pathways begin to form later in life.

In the other image below, we can see a young lady playing with traffic signals. By introducing traffic signals as a child, the individual can have formed visual pathways to rely on when learning to drive. By allowing the traffic signals to be played with in a kinesthetic manner, the child is more likely to be able to call upon the necessary knowledge formed in visual and kinesthetic pathways during split second decisions made while driving later in life. 

No two brains are exactly alike and each strategy must be adapted to a child's strengths and weaknesses. Teaching something like traffic signals may seems fruitless if the child will likely never be able to drive a car, due to their cognitive disability. However, the knowledge gained through understanding traffic signals transcends beyond driving to respecting the road and cars that drive on it.

Pick the strategy that works best for your child or client, be creative, adapt it to fit and remain patient!

 

 

 

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