In This Issue

Summer is right around the corner! Sign up today for our fun (and educational, shhh!) programs:
Ready Reader Foundations:
Work on phonological awareness, spelling, and reading fluency skills.

Ready Reader Building Comprehension:
Improve reading comprehension and analysis skills. 

Learn strategies to assist in every step of the writing process, including pre-writing, researching, drafting, revising, and editing.

Build confidence in math skills including: basic math (grades 3-8), pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and calculus.

A great way to have your child engage in summer reading!

Prepare for a successful start to the school year and beyond by tackling the most annoying, yet critical, parts of gearing up for school, including back-to-school shopping!


A group program to develop problem-solving and executive functioning skills through fun, hands-on challenges. 

A group program involving real-life practice of executive functioning skills by planning a trip to a DC area landmark, museum, or sporting event.


Prepare to apply to college by focusing on setting priorities and goals; making and revising plans; and initiating, executing, and completing the different tasks in the application process .

Going to college is an exciting new chapter, one that is fast-paced and requires a new level of independence. This program helps focus on the key areas that tend to get overlooked while preparing to head off to college. 

MAY 2018
Imagine That! Using Visualization to Improve Reading Comprehension

By  Mallory Rotondo, M.S., CF-SLP

Have you ever seen a movie after reading the book and felt incongruence between the character on the screen and the one you had imagined? If so, take pride in your disappointment. It suggests that you have a strong ability to visualize, or create mental imagery as you read.


Visualization is a highly effective strategy to improve comprehension and retention of reading material. When your child learns to "see" the characters, setting, and actions within stories, they are more easily able to interpret and remember complex information. Through use of visualization, children become active in the reading process and can more effectively discuss and describe the text they're reading.


According to the Dual Coding Theory, developed by psychologist, Dr. Allan Paivio, human cognition gives equal weight to verbal and nonverbal processing (Paivio,1991). Essentially, the theory suggests that there are two cognitive subsystems: one which represents and processes imagery, and another which interprets language. While visualizing, a student creates mental images from textual information. By activating both cognitive subsystems, recall and retention of information are enhanced.


While the skill of visualization may seem like second nature to an adult reader, it is important to recognize that this strategy must be explicitly taught. Especially for children with executive function challenges, they may need guidance in understanding  how to create mental imagery while reading.
Here are some great ways to practice the active process of visualization at home:
  1. Start with drawing! Select a poem or paragraph rich with sensory details and have your child draw what she imagines. Talk about the picture and compare their imagery with your own.
  1. Draw and describe. Find simple picture scenes online or from coloring books. Take turns describing the scene (with as much detail as possible!) while the other person draws. Compare their drawing to the original picture and discuss your observations.
  1. Use pictures to introduce words or concepts prior to reading. For example, if your child is reading about Iceland, look up pictures or videos of Iceland online to prepare her mind to visualize.
  1. Take 'mental movie' breaks while reading. While reading aloud to your child, stop frequently and ask, "What do you see?" Also, describe your own mental imagery. This encourages your child to stop and reflect while reading independently. 
  1. Make connections. Ask your child to make comparisons. How is the character like you? How is the setting different from your school? How would you feel if this happened to you?


No matter your child's age, visualization is a useful strategy in improving her ability to retain and interpret what she reads. Practice these strategies at home and enjoy watching your child become more confident in her ability to visualize, interpret and interact with books!

Clark, J. M. & Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory and education
Educational Psychology Review, 3(3), 149-170.