In the Davis Dyslexia world, the term ‘disorientation’ is frequently used – and not always understood in connection to Dyslexia. I have written a simple explanation in my book ‘Nurturing the Secret Garden’:
“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.
When I explained to one of my clients that him standing on one leg shows me where his mind is, he told me that he can prove me wrong. Being an excellent sportsman and additionally practising yoga had given him a wonderful sense of balance and he could easily and calmly stay on one leg for a long time. I marvelled at his centeredness and asked if he was able to read a simple text to me while on one leg. Thinking that this would be an easy task, he was amazed how quickly he lost his balance by reading the sentence from a children’s book in front of him. It gave him a real-life example of the material that would cause his mind to disorient.”