Categorization & Visualization Skills

by Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP

Categorization is an essential skill that is used to organize information and vocabulary in our brains. Think of having a file cabinet or a computer hard drive in your brain in which every word or idea we learn or explore is filed and cross-filed. Then we know where to go to find the information when we need to retrieve it. This skill can be practiced by asking your child to name as many items as they can in a certain group or category:

• “What kinds of toppings could we put on a pizza?” or
• “What changes do we see as winter turns into spring?” or
• “What events/sports were in the summer Olympics?” or
• “Name places where people can work.”

The ability to visualize or make a movie in one’s head about a story is a valuable way to capture more details and gain more meaning. Listening to “Books on Tape/CD” helps to develop auditory skills as well as practice visualization skills. These recorded books are often available in the local public library system. Riding in the car or during quiet time is a great time to do this. Encourage your child to “make the movie” and then replay it as they tell you the story.

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