Term of Art: Spatial Relationships

“spatial relationships: The relative positions of objects in a space. Children learn about spatial relationships at an early age as they manipulate toys and other objects. Academically, spatial relationships are involved in the acquisition of reading skills and mathematics: a child must perceive the space between words in a sentence in order to understand the concept of a sentence. In math, understanding spatial relationships is essential for developing many types of math skills such as computation, graphing, and understanding a number line. For example, a child can recognize that the toy is on top of or above the bed; in looking at a picture, a child can recognize that the moon is above the ground, This understanding is often obvious in children’s drawings.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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