Why are symptoms worse on some days?
When dyslexic people make mistakes in reading or spelling, it is because they are experiencing disorientation, which results in distorted perceptions. The person's threshold for confusion is a key factor in how often he or she disorients. A person with a lower threshold is more easily confused, and thus is more often disoriented. A person with a higher threshold is less easily confused and less frequently disoriented.
This explains why at certain times people can read and spell fairly well, and at other times they can't. Their threshold for confusion changes.
After a person learns to detect and correct his or her own disorientations through Davis Orientation Counseling, and begins mastering symbols that cause confusion, the threshold for confusion naturally increases.
Besides confusion about words and symbols, there are other things in life that can lower the threshold for confusion and affect a person's ability to maintain orientation. One should be aware of these other sources of confusion and resolve them whenever possible. They include:
|• not enough rest;
• poor diet or not enough food;
• illness, pain, or injury;
• drugs or medicines;
• print size too small;
• print too faint;
• varying print styles and typefaces;
• loud noises;
• specific sounds;
• certain smells;
• poor lighting (can be too much or to little);
|• excess motion (whirling fans, dangling decorations);
• a change in the orderliness of the environment;
• furniture rearrangement;
• moving households;
• scheduling changes;
• time pressure (being rushed);
• threats of punishment;
• family strife;
• a loss;
• anything that is a reminder of an unpleasant past experience;
Davis Orientation Counseling will help a person to recognize and control disorientations, but it cannot prevent disorientations that stem from outside factors, such as those listed above. It is thus important for the person to also learn to recognize these sources of confusion, so they can be avoided, resolved or minimized.
Davis, R. (1998) Dyslexia and the Threshold for Confusion. Reprinted with permission
Is dyslexia hereditary?
Scientists believe that there is a genetic influence for dyslexia, but there is no way to predict whether a child of dyslexic parents will develop dyslexia or not.
Researchers who have studied identical twins with reading disabilities have found a little more than 50% correlation among the twins – that is, if one twin has a reading problem, the other twin will have a reading problem only about half the time. From this, they surmise that reading disabilities are about half due to heredity, and half due to other factors such as the individual’s environment, experiences, education, or upbringing.
Genes on at least eight different chromosomes have been identified as having some role or connection with dyslexia. None of these are implicated in all cases of dyslexia. Thus, whatever genetic influence exists does not come from a single cause, but from a combination of factors.
(by Abigail Marshall, used with permission)
Can you explain what a visual spatial learner is?
A visual-spatial learner is a student who learns holistically rather than in a step-by-step fashion. Visual imagery plays an important role in the student's learning process. Because the individual is processing primarily in pictures rather than words, ideas are interconnected (imagine a web). Linear sequential thinking — the norm in American education — is particularly difficult for this person and requires a translation of his or her usual thought processes, which often takes more time
Can dyslexia be cured?
No. Dyslexia is not a disease, and it is not the result of a brain injury or defect. Dyslexic people think primarily in pictures, not words, and have difficulty learning to work with symbols such as letters or numerals. When they are confused or frustrated as children, they begin to experience distorted perceptions, such as reversals of letters, and develop life-long learning blocks that hamper their progress.
The problems that prevent learning can be corrected. That is, dyslexic children and adults can learn to recognize and to control the mental state that results in distorted perceptions, thus eliminating this problem. They can also learn new and more effective approaches to reading, writing, spelling, or math calculation, and thus overcome problems at school or work.