It is widely believed that human beings think in two different ways, “verbal conceptualisation” and “non-verbal conceptualisation”. Verbal conceptualisation means thinking with the sounds of words. Non-verbal conceptualisation means thinking with mental pictures of concepts or ideas.
Dyslexics are non-verbal/picture thinkers. Very often, when dyslexics look at words that describe real things, they don’t cause much trouble. In non-verbal thought, we can think with the word dog easily if we know what dog looks like. The animal we call “dog” is the literal meaning of the word dog. Seeing its picture is seeing its meaning.
It is impossible for a non-verbal/picture thinker to think with words whose meanings can’t be pictured, such as common sight words ‘by’, ‘the’, ‘if’, ‘to’, etc. These common sight words trigger disorientation in a dyslexic because he/she does not have a picture of the meaning of the word.
All words have three parts to it: 1) what it means, 2) what it looks like and 3) what it sounds like. To truly master a word is to know all three parts. Dyslexics often have missing picture of the meaning of a trigger word (which is often common sight words), and when that gap is addressed, the trigger word stops causing confusion for them.