A Glimpse into the World of Dyslexia
(From ‘the Right Brain for the Right Time’)

According to Ron Davis, all dyslexics have three traits in common:

a) They think in pictures
b) They become disoriented
c) They have a low threshold for confusion

Thinking in pictures gives them a great awareness of their environment, an inherent curiosity, intuition and insight. They may also show a multidimensional approach to learning, a vivid imagination, creativity, giftedness shown in geniuses like Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Ford and an endless list of great thinkers, politicians, writers, sportsmen and sportswomen, actors and country or industry leaders such as Richard Branson, Winston Churchill or General George Patton.

Dyslexia is a perceptual talent. Perceiving the written or spoken word in pictures affords much more information. However, the downside of multiple images from multiple angles is the difficulty of reigning that mind in and focusing it onto one thing or one page. Some words fail to conjure up the meaning or picture needed to comprehend what has been read. Most commonly we see reading, spelling, writing, comprehension or math troubles. The same talent has become a liability, especially in schools, where we still educate our young in a mostly auditory manner, not suitable to visual learners.

When picture thinkers cannot make a picture, a part of their brain experiences confusion. Nobody likes that feeling. The mind tries to find an answer, by moving around an object—or the written word—to make sense of it. When looking at an object, viewing it from different sides has often proven useful in the past. However, try to move around a word and all that happens is a different appearance of letters, like b/d/p/q or words (saw/was …).

The feeling of confusion results in a state of disorientation, caused by a mind searching for meaning. We call disorientation the state of mind, where mental perception does not reflect the reality of the environment. Every one of us experiences disorientation at one time or another, when one of our senses is not in alignment with our body. Let me give you an example:

The other day I drove through a car wash, closed all the windows, and watched from inside my car as the giant bristles moved backwards and forward, washing the sides and roof of my vehicle. Have you ever experienced that sense that your car was in motion just because the outside brushes were? That was my experience and although I knew very well, that my car didn’t move an inch, the feeling of disorientation gave the impression of movement. Having the sense of movement or balance out of alignment causes the mind to disorient and record false data.

Daydreaming is a visual, sensory disorientation. The body is present in the classroom or wherever anxiety, panic, confusion or boredom causes the mind to disconnect from it. If a person was forced to read in a state of disorientation, the print on the paper would appear to be blurred or changed in size, shape or appearance. The spaces between words might look like rivers running along the page; the reader might skip lines or words, swap the order of words around, omit or guess words. Additionally, if asked to stand on one leg, they would sway—and that would give away the direction where the mind’s eye has moved to.