Dyslexia and Visual Talents

I have looked into this topic a great deal due to the fact that my oldest son has had much difficulty knowing left from right and letter reversal issues, for example his 4’s and 9’s look like Ps… A book that made a lot of sense to me although I had questioned how the scientific community held it as factual is the book called ‘The gift of Dyslexia” by   Ronald D. Davis  .  This book describes individuals with Dyslexia to have many talents that those of us who do not have dyslexia are not capable of having.  These talents involve the ability of seeing an object like a cube and being able to turn it around in their mind as if they are seeing it from many different view points instead of the view point of just staring down at it on the table.  The can actually pick it up in thought and turn it around to see accurately the different sides and angles of the cube.  The problem comes in when they are asked to read something on paper that to understand it you have to be looking at it from the same viewpoint as any other person reading it.  Training the brain to look at it from the same view point is the trick.

Well I just stumbled on to an article in Scientific American:Mind, Jan/Feb 2015, on “The Advantages of Dyslexia” which found scientific studies that back this theory up.  So that this ability to see everything 3 dimensional and to be able to  manipulate an object in one’s head without picking it up is quite an asset it areas where one might need to see things in this manner.  In the engineering and sciences this is an extremely helpful talent.

There are many kids that get labeled with a learning disability because of dyslexia.  I believe occupational therapy really helped my son understand how to interpret the perspectives and dimensions of what he is seeing in comparison to what he is expected to see by us 2 dimensional folk.  Also with him he also had difficulty crossing the mid line of his body and I wonder how that all fits in with the dyslexia and his visual/mental ability.  Occupational therapy also fixed that.  He spent a large amount of his occupational therapy time on a “scoot” with his hands moving him in a crawling fashion all around their offices.  He had a blast and it made him do a lot of mid line work.

I’m fascinated by how our brain, visual ability, and physical movement are so interconnected.   We all know this and are taught this but the part our past teachers emphasized was our brain controlling the movement  and not the other way around, our movement controlling/affecting the brain.  Funny how most therapies address the movement aspect last and not first, being that you only get it addressed if sent to a specialist.  It seems like it should just be common knowledge to have our kids do mid line activities and tests that measure “ability” in this spacial/visual talent and less on just sitting in a desk with a sheet of paper and measuring the disability.  It really is a paradigm shift though and that takes time.  The science is there however.