Just a quick recap, we’ve covered 2 of the 3 factors that explain how dyslexia develops, namely a dyslexic’s picture thinking style and perceptual talent.
The last factor that Ron talked about is a dyslexic’s special way of reacting to the feeling of confusion. He calls this disorientation. Ron said the symptoms of dyslexia that we see are actually symptoms of disorientation.
What is disorientation? It is a state of mind where mental perceptions do not agree with the true facts and conditions in the environment. Most people experience disorientation at one point or another. One example is, you are sitting in a stationary vehicle and another vehicle next to you moves, creating a false perception that you are moving.
For most of us, the disorientation we experience doesn't affect our day-to-day functioning. To a dyslexic, they disorient so frequently that it impacts their learning. So how does a dyslexic’s perceptual talent and disorientation help to explain the learning difficulties a dyslexic faces?
This is how. In response to a symbol a dyslexic sees that confuses him, let’s say the letter ‘b’ (see illustration below), he will disorient in order to identify the letter he is looking at. He will start looking mentally at the letter from different angles. When it is a real object, like a chair, it doesn’t matter which angle he looks at. It will still look like a chair. But when it comes to 2-dimensional symbols, like a letter or word, looking at it from different locations gives a different picture each time. The letter ‘b’ can be a ‘d’, ‘p’ or ‘q’, depending on where the individual is looking from.
So putting everything together, when a dyslexic sees a symbol which does not make sense to his picture thinking style, he gets confused and when that threshold for confusion is reached, it will trigger a disorientation and he will start looking mentally from different locations in order to figure out what he is looking at.
When this happens, sensory perceptions become distorted and the brain receives an inaccurate input. This then manifests itself in mistakes. The resulting negative emotions that follow lead to low self-esteem and the child starts developing coping mechanisms such as concentrating harder, pushing through, dependency on others, giving excuses and so on. The whole vicious cycle repeats itself.
Can you see how, if there is no solution to break that chain of causation, the child will continue to struggle and the learning gap gets wider and wider? In our next post, we will look at how to resolve the issues step by step. Don’t go away!
Professional services described as Davis™, including Davis™ Dyslexia Correction, Davis™ Symbol Mastery, Davis™ Orientation Counseling, Davis™ Attention Mastery, Davis™ Math Mastery, and Davis™ Reading Program for Young Learners may only be provided by persons who are trained and licensed as Davis Facilitators or Specialists by Davis Dyslexia Association International.