I previously worked with a client that I grew very fond of due to his numerous hidden talents that would keep appearing from out of nowhere. There was a general assumption made that this person had very little capacity to retain information due to his significant level of disorganization and frequent prompting needed around day to day tasks. For this reason, a neuropsychology assessment was completed to help understand what level this person was working at and what support strategies could be used. From this, as expected, his verbal memory was quite poor and required a lot of support. However, his visual memory was superb and although unable to recall a discussion from ten minutes previous, he could recall visual items from months previous in great detail This amazed me yet gave me the realization that it should have been obvious as this person is also an artist and enjoys painting. This he does from memory and not from copying an item in front of me.
This talent for visual memory as a way of compensating for verbal memory retention made me realize that this person’s abilities had been clumped into quite a black and white domain of whether or not he had a good memory, when it turns out that his memory is actually quite good, when used in the correct way. From this, we also developed a number of visual prompts where possible which also contributed to his level of independence within the community.