What is Dyslexia?
Thinking & Learning Styles
There are two basic ways that people decipher language (what they read, think, hear and speak) – Verbal and Nonverbal. Intelligence does not play a role in this distinction—it is simply a difference in learning and thinking styles.
Verbal Learners (word thinkers)
- Verbal learners mainly think in words rather than pictures.
- Verbal thought is linear, sequential and follows the structure of language.
- Thinking verbally consists of composing mental sentences, one word at a time, at about the same speed as speech.
Non-Verbal Learners (Picture Thinkers)
- Non-Verbal learners think in pictures or imagery attached to meaning of words
- Non-Verbal learners think 3-dimensional, mufti- sensory images that evolve and grow as the thought process adds more information or concepts. Therefore, things like sequencing and the memorization of complex systems can be difficult.
- Non-Verbal thought process happens so much faster than verbal thinking, that it is usually subliminal.
Dyslexics specialize in Non-Verbal picture thinking
This ability to think in 3-dimensional, multi-sensory modes is why many dyslexics are so talented in entrepreneurship, inventing and the arts.
- It can, however, cause problems and confusion when it comes to 2-dimensional symbols and words (letters, sight words, punctuation and numbers) that are not easily deciphered with their non-verbal visual thinking.
- When dyslexics cannot decipher non-verbal symbols, they become frustrated and confused.
- Words that enable a picture-thinking person to imagine a picture, have meaning and are clearly understood. However, they are unconsciously challenged when faced with certain words or symbols in the English language.
Can you think of a picture for any of the following so called Sight Words?
the, that, is, a, if, and
Can you think of a picture for the sight word “a”?
Consider, for a moment, that up to 60% of any given written paragraph are words that DO NOT trigger a visual picture. Imagine, as a person who thinks in pictures, trying to obtain the real meaning of a paragraph when 60% of the words are words with which they cannot think!
This confusion/disorientation creates distorted perception in seeing & hearing.
- It can cause a dyslexic to perceive words on a page strung together, with no spaces, making it nearly impossible to decipher words within it.
- It can cause a dyslexic to perceive letters and words blurring or even moving when reading.
The Effects of Disorientation/Confusion
- It can cause transpositions of words, like: was/saw, on/no, from/form; as well as transpositions with individual letters within words, like: b/d/, p/q, f/t, u/n.
- It can cause not seeing, and therefore not reading or missing sight words
- Difficulty understanding instructions and directions accurately.
- Difficulty understanding and working with non-visual processes like telling time, reading calendars, differentiating left from right and even learning to tie shoelaces.