–Triveni Goswami Vernal
Registered Special Educator (A64010)
Multisensory instruction, as the name suggests, involves the utilization of multiple senses to impart knowledge to an individual. In comparison to the more traditional method of instruction, it includes an amalgamation of vision, hearing, kinaesthetic (touch) and movement, to deliver instruction.
Besides being a more engaging approach, multisensory instruction also involves diverse regions of the brain, thereby creating a more cohesive understanding of the subject, at hand.
According to the article, “Three reasons why multisensory learning is food for the brain” (https://ortongillinghamonlinetutor.com/three-reasons-why-multisensory-learning-is-food-for-the-brain/), some of the benefits of adopting a Multisensory approach are—
a) Stronger Neural Connections and Better Retention: The article shares research evidence on neuroimaging studies that have shown that “there is a greater amount of activity in the brains information processing areas following a multisensory input than there is following a single sense input.” Using multiple senses to learn, helps the individual retain the information much better.
b) Students Learn Differently: Students have diverse learning styles (some of them may have strong auditory processing skills, some may be visual learners, while others, may prefer learning with movement). Thus, adopting a Multisensory approach to teach, can help them acquire information in the manner that suits their learning style, best.
c) More Engaging Approach: Delivery of Multisensory instruction, ensures that the individual’s attention on the given task, is completely focused. When the individual has to engage all his senses, there is less scope for distraction and that goes a long way, in helping the individual to retain the information for a longer period.
A Multisensory approach not only leads to better retention, but also better recall of the information.
MULTISENSORY TECHNIQUES used in the classroom can include various kinds of:
a) Visual Processing activities: Visual Reasoning through puzzles, patterns, visual tracking, visual perception games etc
b) Auditory Processing activities: Using music, rhyming songs, games for Auditory discrimination of various kinds of sounds, ‘Do as I say’ activities etc
c) Kinaesthetic activities: Use of sand trays, textured objects, raised surfaces, object sorting in bag etc
d) Movement activities: Dance, Brain Gym, Double Doodle etc.
Multisensory techniques can be used for teaching Reading, Math, Spelling and enhancing vocabulary. In my subsequent blogs, I will be touching upon them individually, in greater details.
Author Triveni Goswami Vernal
Triveni Goswami Vernal is an Autism advocate, registered Special Educator (CRR A64010) and an Independent Researcher. Her areas of interest include Autism, Disability Rights, Gender, Art and Northeast studies. She is a mum to an 11 year old on the Autism Spectrum.
Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Kabir Vernal