Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Spatial Concepts

Whats a spatial concept? A spatial concept is a type of basic concept that describes an object's location in space. Words such as: in, top, in front, beside, behind, and outside are all examples of spatial concepts. Spatial concepts are also known as prepositions.

So why should you care about spatial concepts? Well for one, an understanding of spatial concepts is needed for everyday receptive language skills like following directions. "Bring me the blue book on the middle shelf". 

Children also need knowledge of spatial concepts to be strong communicators, Giving directions is an expressive language skill. A child who gives directions loke the following, "Bring me the book from there." may have weak language skills.

So what can you do to help reinforce spatial concepts? Many things. Have you ever read a book with your child and asked them "where" something was while looking at the pictures? "Where is the boy?" An answer that I often get is "right there", this is accompanied by pointing. If the child used spatial concepts his answer could have been more descriptive to include something like, "He's on the bench" or "outside at the park" or "next to the tree". So I teach the concept by modeling correct usage and expanding on the child's response. ""Yes, he is right there, next to the tree". 

Children start learning spatial concepts at a young age. However, children with language disorders have a much harder time learning these concepts and often use non-specific language. Repeated exposure to the concept and practice is needed to make progress.

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