People regularly associate Dyslexia with not being able to read, and not being able to read as being unintelligent. However this is not accurate – Dyslexics can read, but the associated issues can confuse the understanding or communication.
Dyslexics learn language by using parts of the brain not usually used to process language, and they are perceived to process language much less efficiently using our normal benchmarks.
According to neurophysicist Todd Richards, Ph.D. the brains of persons with dyslexia work five times harder than other peoples’ brains to complete the same tasks.
Dyslexics aren’t slow learners. They simply learn differently. Their I.Q. usually ranges from the average to the gifted range.
The difficulties arise because dyslexic people have to operate in a world in which communication has developed in ways that suit the non-dyslexic majority, interestingly some cultures do not work in this way.
In their story based culture Native Indian Children learn in pictorial thought forms, it is subsequently hard for them to learn to read text, think in words or study text based lessons.
The most commonly known aspect of Dyslexia is the transposition of letters, most famously b’s and d’s, p’s and q’s, but this can go further to the transposition of adjacent letters so that lion becomes loin or even peripheral letters so that saw becomes was.
Where the word that the dyslexic perceived makes sense as an actual word, then its miss placement causes confusion.
He saw the lion – He was the lion – He saw the loin – all clearly sensible statements
Some errors will be picked up quickly others like those above will go un noticed, to cause confusion later.
Where there is some confusion the Dyslexic may predict the word, causing officer to be read as official or approximate as appropriate. Other words may become truncated as the ending is ‘ignored’ for example walking becomes walk.
There may be a cumulative confusion as for becomes from which becomes form as the differing effects come into play.
As Dyslexics tend to work with visual thought then if we could look inside as they read we would see an evolving complex three dimensional picture develop as each piece of text is read, and each word ads to the pictures. This helps us to understand the truncating of words the picture for walk and walking is likely to be the same.
This works well with words relating to tangible items, car, bus, dog, blue, green, etc but less well with words used to join phrases such as, at, is, where, who, over, under, which are examples where a picture is not clearly linked to the word and often appears as a ‘blank’.
This ‘blank’ stops the evolution of the 3d picture and causes hesitation and confusion. Sometimes that ‘blank’ word will be omitted especially when reading aloud. The disruption can be so great that the preceding image is lost and the process of visualisation recommences without any connection to the preceding context.
One significant issue is that when we don’t understand a text we are taught to re-read it, when the dyslexic does this the same issues remain for them and the frustrations build. The difficulty lies in processing the text into a meaningful picture format rather than knowing the meaning of the words.
Often Dyslexics will avoid reading long texts asking for a précis from someone, or they will ask key questions to fit the subject into their well developed multi dimensional understanding of how the world works.
Phonics is another area where confusion can set in either reading or listening, for example through and threw clearly differing meanings and also clearly differing for the perspective of the Dyslexics pictorial thought.
But if the word is forced out of context, by a ‘blank’ word such as, at, is, where, who, over, under then suddenly the strongest image may come to the fore to corrupt the meaning.
Where this happens repeatedly then the whole meaning of the text becomes lost, confusion and frustration sets in and engagement is lost.
Moving on to pure spelling the issue of phonics can complicate matters, also the intangible nature of spelling for someone dealing in pictures, not words – can have a dramatic effect, as each letter becomes a ‘blank’ in its own right.
It may take up to 2000 times more to remember how to spell a word, compared to the maximum of 14 times needed by a non-dyslexic. sometime pattern matching will assist as a strategy but spelling is normally an area regarded as poor for Dyslexics.
Whereas the average person summons around 150 images per second, the dyslexic can muster from 1500 to 4000 images per second. Faced with a veritable onslaught of visual imagery, selecting the right word to keep up with the flow of images can be extremely challenging for the dyslexic.
But it is this very processing power that allows the dyslexic to excel in other areas.
Just by the way you structure sentences can make them much more easy for a Dyslexic to process for example:“I will meet you for dinner unless you call to cancel” has the key ‘blank’ unless in it, and risks loosing the Dyslexic. It would be far more effective to say: “I will meet you for dinner. Call if you need to cancel.”