What is Dyslexia

Updated: 02/01/2018

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What is Dyslexia

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Dyslexia definition

Dyslexia is a developmental condition, often inherited, that interferes with the acquisition and processing of written language (MedicineNet.com, 12/9/2003). It is also a neurological condition in which the brain of the dyslexic shows distinct differences from “normal” children (Gabrieli, 2009). Currently, the academic consensus seems to be that Dyslexia is an Autism Spectrum condition, which is apparently taken for granted in most studies, although Humer and Mann (2010) distinguish dyslexics as a group from Autism Spectrum participants in their study, so this consensus may be changing.

By contrast, Ronald D Davis in his book “The Gift of Dyslexia” (1997) indicates that Dyslexia is a gift that allows those with the condition to perceive the world in ways that “normal” people cannot: the gift of Dyslexia, argues Davis, is the gift of genius.

Although this practitioner might take issue with Davis’ assertion, since not all dyslexics can be geniuses, she was interested in his description of what Dyslexia is from the point of view of someone who actually is dyslexic and the issues outlined by Davis in the first two chapters of his book (Davis, 1997).

From Davis’ point of view, Dyslexia is not a problem with reading and processing per se, but an entirely different way of experiencing the world. According to him, dyslexics have a multidimensional perception that results in their visualising, to a greater or lesser degree, the inside and the outside of anything and everything they come into contact with – people, houses, cars, animals, tables, clouds, toys, the ground under their feet etc - resulting in a greater or lesser degree of constant disorientation. Their “mind’s eye”, far from being anchored as it is in “normal” people, darts about in an uncontrolled and uncontrollable manner, examining everything from all sides and all angles (Davis, 1997).

Dyslexia: decoding information in the modern world

According to Davis (1997), In terms of reading, this disorientation, caused by the mind’s eye’s attempt to see all sides of the printed text at the same time, results in the experience of print being raised off the paper or screen, constantly changing shape and orientation, together with constant shifts in the relationship of any one letter shape to any or all of the others. Little wonder, then, that dyslexics have difficulty “processing” information. Written information in the modern world is, according to Davis (1997), not presented in a way dyslexics can decipher.

Articles on Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Techniques website (now transferred to EFTUniverse.com) indicate the EFT approach can be very effective in dealing with Dyslexia (Using EFT for Dyslexia, undated). However, what is, according to Davis (1997), “normal” and therefore unremarkable for a dyslexic, ie the disorientation, has not been addressed in these articles.

Dyslexia: Fiona McCallion's approach

In view of the above, therefore, I approach EFT for Dyslexia from the point of view that Dyslexia is not simply a reading and processing condition, but an Autistic Spectrum Disorder with associated issues.

What do you think of this approach?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

If my approach resonates with you, there's a link at the top right of this post where you can contact me to arrange an appointment.

References

MedicineNet.com; Author Not Given; 12/9/2003; Definition of Dyslexia; URL: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3138; Accessed: 17/7/2010

Gabrieli, John D E; 2009; Dyslexia: A New Synergy Between Education and Cognitive Neuroscience; Science 17 July 2009, Vol. 325. no. 5938, pp. 280 – 283

Humer, S V and Mann, V; 2010; A Comprehensive Profile of Decoding and Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders; Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders April 2010 Vol. 40 no. 4, pp. 485-493

Davis, R D with Braun, E M; 1997; The Gift of Dyslexia: Why some of the brightest people can’t read and how they can learn; Souvenir Press Ltd, London

Using EFT for Dyslexia; Undated; EFTUniverse.Com; URL: http://www.eftuniverse.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=907:using-eft-for-dyslexia&catid=19:education-learning-disabilities&Itemid=1002; Accessed: 17/7/2010

Dyslexia is

  • a developmental condition
  • often inherited
  • interferes with the acquisition and processing of written language (MedicineNet.com, 12/9/2003)
  • neurological condition
  • the brain shows distinct differences from “normal” children (Gabrieli, 2009).

Current academic consensus:

  • Dyslexia is an Autism Spectrum condition, which is apparently
  • taken for granted in most studies, although
  • Humer and Mann (2010) distinguish dyslexics as a group from Autism Spectrum
  • consensus may be changing

Ronald D Davis in his book “The Gift of Dyslexia” (1997) says

  • Dyslexia is a gift
  • dyslexics perceive the world in ways that “normal” people cannot:
  • the gift of Dyslexia is the gift of genius

Interesting points about Davis:

  • Not all dyslexics can be geniuses
  • description of experience of Dyslexia
    • point of view of someone who is dyslexic
  • issues outlined in the first two chapters of his book (Davis, 1997).

Interesting points from Davis:

  • Dyslexia is not a problem with reading and processing
  • entirely different way of experiencing the world
  • multidimensional perception
  • dyslexics visualise the inside and the outside of anything and everything they come into contact with
    • people,
    • houses,
    • cars,
    • animals,
    • tables,
    • clouds,
    • toys,
    • the ground under their feet etc -
  • results in constant disorientation
  • The “mind’s eye darts about
    • uncontrolled and
    • uncontrollable manner,
  • examines everything from all sides and all angles (Davis, 1997)

Disorientation

  • caused by
    • mind’s eye’s attempt to see all sides of the printed text at the same time
  • results in
    • the experience of print being raised off the paper or screen,
    • constantly changing shape and orientation, together with
    • constant shifts in the relationship of any one letter shape to any or all of the others.

On the basis of the above:

  • dyslexics have difficulty “processing” information.
  • written information in the modern world
    • not presented in a way dyslexics can decipher.

Articles on EFTUniverse.com

  • indicate the EFT approach can be very effective in dealing with Dyslexia (Using EFT for Dyslexia, undated).

However, what is, according to Davis (1997),

  • “normal”
    • unremarkable for a dyslexic,
      • ie the disorientation
  • not been addressed in these articles.

I approach EFT for Dyslexia from this point of view

  • Dyslexia is not simply a reading and processing condition
    • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
    • with associated issues.

Are you dyslexic?  Leave a comment below to say how this page could be improved

References

Davis, R D with Braun, E M; 1997; The Gift of Dyslexia: Why some of the brightest people can’t read and how they can learn; Souvenir Press Ltd, London

Gabrieli, John D E; 2009; Dyslexia: A New Synergy Between Education and Cognitive Neuroscience; Science 17 July 2009, Vol. 325. no. 5938, pp. 280 – 283

Humer, S V and Mann, V; 2010; A Comprehensive Profile of Decoding and Comprehension in Autism Spectrum Disorders; Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders April 2010 Vol. 40 no. 4, pp. 485-493

MedicineNet.com; Author Not Given; 12/9/2003; Definition of Dyslexia; URL: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3138; Accessed: 17/7/2010

Using EFT for Dyslexia; Undated; EFTUniverse.Com; URL: http://www.eftuniverse.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=907:using-eft-for-dyslexia&catid=19:education-learning-disabilities&Itemid=1002; Accessed: 17/7/2010

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