Dr. Linda Silverman coined the term “visual-spatial learner” in 1981 to describe the unique gifts of people who think in images. They get the big picture because they see the world through artists’ eyes. They remember what they see, but forget what they hear. They’re disorganized, can’t spell and have no sense of time, but they have an infectious sense of humor, wild imaginations and can lose themselves completely in the joy of the moment. Visual-spatial brilliance created the computer and the Internet, the vivid displays at the Olympics, and the International Space Station.

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner is the blueprint for parenting, teaching and living with these delightfully different beings. It is also a manual for discovering and honoring your own hidden gifts.

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner

A very special
holiday gift!

One-third of the population
thinks in pictures…
Visual-Spatial Learners

Are you one?

Do you live with one?

Brief Characteristics List

Do you know things without being able to explain how or why?

Do you solve problems in unusual ways?

Do you think in pictures rather than in words?

Do you have a vivid imagination?

Can you visualize objects from different perspectives?

If you teach, it is absolutely certain that some of your students—probably the ones you aren’t reaching—are visual-spatial learners.

Who is Linda Silverman?

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, noted author, editor, researcher, and international lecturer on all aspects of high ability. Linda earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Educational Psychology in 1973 under the direction of Leo Buscaglia at the University of Southern California. She founded and directs the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development and its subsidiaries, the Gifted Development Center and Visual-Spatial Resource.

With 40 years of experience studying the gifted and a Ph.D. in learning disabilities, Linda has become internationally recognized for her expertise on the assessment of twice-exceptional children. In the last 23 years, 4,200 children have come to the Gifted Development Center for assessment from all over the world, and the vast majority of these children are both gifted and learning disabled. Linda’s research on giftedness led to discovering that one-sixth of the gifted population suffers from hidden learning disabilities, and at least one-sixth of the learning-disabled population demonstrates visual-spatial gifts. In 1980, she won a Bureau of the Education of the Handicapped grant to establish the first training program for teachers of gifted-handicapped children at the University of Denver.

Formerly the Co-Director of Special Education at the University of Colorado, Linda has taught many special education courses and is a popular speaker on learning disabilities. In 2001, she delivered the keynote address on “Dual Exceptionality” for the Idaho chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children. In 2002, she presented an Institute at the 52nd North Carolina State Conference on Exceptional Children and the State Exceptional Children’s Institute ordered 90 copies of her new book, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner. Linda has been developing methods of finding and serving visual-spatial learners for two decades.

A prolific writer, Linda has contributed 300 articles, chapters and books that are research-based, informed by clinical practice and insights, and yet warm and accessible to non-scholars. Four of her books are on identifying and serving learning-disabled preschoolers in Head Start Programs: Cognitive Skills, Auditory-Language Skills, Visual-Motor Skills, and Gross Motor Skills. She also wrote a manual on Information Processing to help regular classroom teachers understand how to meet the needs of mainstreamed learning-disabled students. She infused a special education perspective in her textbook, Counseling the Gifted and Talented, which is the most widely adopted text for that course (more than 50 colleges and universities). Her most recent chapter, on “Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities,” appears in the third edition of the Handbook of Gifted Education (2003). A passionate advocate for both gifted and learning-disabled children, Linda affirms the positive aspects of thinking and feeling differently.

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