In learning new concepts, we often do well with access to templates. Sometimes we have creative ideas that we must adapt to new situations. Templates can set us on the right path, and make up for some of our visual-spatial challenges. For instance, when my classes assign papers and give us successful samples to read, I feel much more confident about completing the paper.
If they do not provide this (or a similar) resource, then I feel lost, anxious, and disoriented. Literally lost. I ask professors to please provide sample topics, but many do not want to. Maybe they think we can envision them ourselves, but I have trouble adapting my ideas to their requirements, unless they explain what they want to see. Then we’re, to use a cliché, on the same page.
Too often, way, way too often, we with NLD are deprived of same-page access. People don’t bother to explain in NLD-sensitive ways—ways that take into account our intelligence, and the many ways our observations lend strength (i.e., we are often creative, caring, sensitive, musical, research-savvy, capable of writing great things, et cetera). And ways that anticipate the anxiety we go through when assigned verbal presentations.
Will someone please just give us a template? Are they afraid we’ll copy it? They should know we’re awful liars. The lies show up in our expressions, and we learn not to lie or misrepresent very early on.
Sometimes we’ve endured excessive discipline and put-downs. In fact, I’d say it’s more common than not, and this needs to change, too.
I spend so much time tracking down templates, because I just plain don’t know enough about what people want (v. what I guess they want). Many people don’t ask because of shyness and/or being able to picture enough about the task to get by.
What about those whose visual-spatial struggles require more explanation—what of that in education? We sometimes need points of access to shape the beautiful, important, powerful ideas we deserve to express.
Please help us do this in positive ways, and listen to the needs we have. We can’t help our visual-spatial struggles, but our experiences learning can improve with these resources.