It’s difficult to work if you only have part of the picture. This is so true of dyslexia. A few days back we explored how difficult it is for a child with dyslexia to answer school questions without help. A help which is often absent.

Our son is dyslexic. He has found a way of reading up to half the words he is is presented with. The missing words are either filled in with educated guesses or just missed out completely. He faced the following test question without any help or any additional time.

Tissue is a structure made of many cells performing a similar function and different tissues do different jobs. Which tissue carries the fluid containing nutrients, oxygen and waste products?

Without help son read this question something like the following.

Tissue is a s……….. made of many cells p………… a s………. function and different tissue do different jobs. Which tissue c……… the fluid c…………….. n……….., oxygen and water products?

The letters in bold he guessed. When you guess you naturally gets some words wrong. Without help he was unable to read enough words to allow him to answer the question.

This is such an issue. You need to have understood enough words to allow you to make proper sense of the sentence. The more missing words. The more guessed words. The more words read incorrectly. The greater the likelihood that you will answer the wrong question or just be unable to answer at all. Our son is really good at maths as long as it’s just numbers and symbols. Add text and his performance starts to level off. He’s not getting the maths wrong. He’s getting the English wrong.

Another complication is that he frequently reads characters reversed.

He then has to make sense of the reversed character pattern. Sometimes he can process the character correctly. This takes time. Other times it throws his reading completely. When you think of letters like b and d. A reversal here is hidden but can have a huge impact. Is the word bad or is it dad or is it dab or is it bab.

The above example of reversed characters includes numbers. Number dyslexia is often forgotten. Son has less difficulty dealing with numbers. But it’s not plain sailing. Numbers can be read reversed. Numbers can be misread. He struggles to read numbers which contain a decimal point.

And there is one final surprising factor he has to deal with. We stumbled across this issue by chance. But it’s been confirmed by the health professionals. His mind switches between processing characters from left to right and then right to left. We haven’t been able to workout why his braindoes that or when the switches occur. But when he switches to right to left processing his brain must then try to reverse the image so it fits in with the English language. We had hoped educational professionals would examine this and see what impact this is having on his dyslexia. Maybe it’s the reason for it.. We are still waiting.

This is our sons dyslexia story. Every case of dyslexia is unique. It’s causes are not well understood and thousands of factors can impact on it. Surely it’s time our educational systems got up to speed with dyslexia. It needs commitment from government. Sadly in England this has not been forthcoming. In fact in many ways under the last 10 years of Conservative Rule the plight of dyslexic children in mainstream schools has got significantly worse. It’s time the Schools Minister got off his backside and did something about it. Maybe there is still time for him to see the bigger picture.

52 thoughts on “Need the full picture AGAIN

  1. Hello Gary. What your son and your self are going through is both super frustrating and heart breaking. I recently read that tinted glasses can help with dyslexia. My quick research shows there are those who swear by it and those who say it does not work. What do the schools or health experts you deal with say? It is worth a shot if it may help him. Best wishes. Hugs

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  2. Hi Gary. I really feel for you and your son with the problems you face every day and the lack of support you’re getting. I agree with Piano Girl above, that his understanding is more important that how he spells.
    On another note though, I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award: so well deserved for your struggles, insights and determination

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry – so incredibly frustrating. I just keep hoping something changes. that a special someone will come out of the school’s woodwork to step in and help since no one has so far. I guess I will still keep my fingers crossed.

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  4. I agree, those in charge of our country’s education really should be doing more to understand this condition. It affects so many. It needs to be brought to the government’s attention just how much misery it can cause when children aren’t receiving the help they need. They need to be made aware by persistent campaigning until they take notice.

    I can offer one small slice of consolation (I hope) – our daughter was affected to a degree. She read and wrote letters and numbers back to front, as in your illustration, she couldn’t tell right from left and left from right, and she only learned to tie shoe laces when she was about 14. I won’t say ‘try not to worry’ because it’s easier said than done. However, daughter grew out of these issues eventually. She’s now at uni and though not particularly academic, she’s coping well and enjoying uni life.

    I think if someone has a passion, they will be happy and content. Whatever your son’s passion is, or promises to be, spelling tests will pale into insignificance.

    I’m thankful that daughter does now know right from left, and vice versa – it’s very useful when she’s driving! 😀

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  5. I feel your frustration as my son also has dyslexia. One of the accommodations my son uses to help him read books is a website and app – Learning Ally – that essentially reads books to him as he follows the text (as the text being read is highlighted). I don’t know if there’s a UK equivalent, but this has really helped. When he saw a dyslexia reading tutor, she recommended that he listen to books, as well as following the text.

    Have you seen whether using a clear, colored overlay helps your son? For some people, using a blue or yellow (or other color) clear plastic sheet over text helps the brain. It didn’t seem to make a difference with my son, but helps some. Best wishes as you slog through.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Is he wired for Greek, like Percy Jackson of the Olympians? I can’t help but wonder that what people see as a hindrance is really a help–we just haven’t found what that help is for yet.

    Hope you and your son had a lovely Christmas. xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes. Well what was it here…oh, I think it might have been a school friend trying to get insurance worked out. She earns just enough the poverty level where she can’t get the help for medical insurance, but she can’t afford the premiums of any regular insurance. It’s situations like this where society has just screwed over the lower middle class. (sigh)

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  7. Oh my gosh – that’s terrible. I’d probably give up in frustration. My brother was dyslexic, but it was only the words with the reversing of letters. Even with that much, he still hates to read. I wish your son well.

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