It is very hard to describe to a non-dyslexic how I see the written word, however I think I hit the nail on the head today.
My husband and I were travelling, south on the M25. I was staring at the vehicles as they drove passed, and one read FS Contact. At first glance I read FS Connect, then I focused my thoughts and read the word correctly. I set about trying to explain to my husband, that I automatically guessed the word from my memory bank, but once I told myself to actually read the word I decoded it, and read the word correctly. My husband found this very interesting.
I sat staring at other vehicles for a while and realized I was still not automatically, registering a lot of the words written on them. I pointed to one lorry with lots of writing on the back. I did not register any of what it said until I told myself to read it, and then I saw the word 'Transport'. I thought, this is a perfect example, and so I pointed the lorry out to my husband.
I said "Do you see that grey lorry to the left of us?'
He said, "Yes."
I said, "I was staring at the back of that lorry but did not read the writing. It's as if it is written in a foreign language." I took a second look and focused my thoughts to read the words and then said, "Oh wait it is a foreign language." We both laughed a lot at this.
The only English word on the van was Transport! And it wasn't until I told my self to read that I decoded the other words and realized I could not decode them. Until that point it was all a foreign language to me, even the english word.
Maybe if I had decoded the word POLAND it would have helped. But the fact that worlds are written in uppercase is another issue. It adds to the effort needed to decode the letters into words.
So for me looking at the English language is sometimes like you looking at a foreign language. I have to focus my thoughts to decode the letters into words. But until that point it is all foreign to me.
So if you can now imaging what it is like for a child seeing words in this way, you may find you have a bit more patience with them.
It is tiresome for any adult to constantly focus your self on a task. Can you imagine what its like for a child to have to do this with a task that you, (a non dyslexic) finds relatively effortless, and then they have other distractions going on around them. Its no wonder dyslexic children get easily distracted. But shouting at them or losing patients with them will NEVER solve the issue. They just need a lot more of your time and effort to learn and store words. I left school with such a small amount of words in my memory bank this now makes decoding the English langue as an adult harder for me.
I hope this helps you understand a little more about dyslexia.
Hello, my name is Victoria I am an author. I would like to share with you my opinion & experiences and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.