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More Than Just Letter Reversals

Problems and Challenges

The Problem with Picture Thinking

For the dyslexic who thinks visually, if a picture is not readily apparent for a word their mental imagery will go blank and there will be no understanding. This becomes even more evident with abstract words such as: the, is, know, what, by, but etc. There are about 200 of these words and they are triggers for the symptoms of dyslexia. The blank picture one gets when faced with reading one of these trigger words is the core of confusion. At first a dyslexic can push past the blank picture and continue reading, but with accumulated blanks, they will eventually disorient.


Without an accurate picture for each word, the meaning of a sentence can be compromised.

The Problem with Disorientation

With repeated exposure to abstract words or other confusing two dimensional symbols such as letters, numbers and punctuation, a dyslexic will eventually disorient to try to make sense of the information, by mentally viewing it from different perspectives. Now their imagination sees something different from their eyes - a distorted perception of letters, words or symbols. These reversals, transpositions and alterations to the text lead to mistakes and frustration.


For some picture thinkers, their imaginations are busy participating in a daydream while they are busy reading. Even though every word can be decoded on the page accurately, picture thinking is not being associated with the words and consequently there will be no comprehension or recall of the text. The reader was disoriented.


When a reader becomes disoriented, the text can be perceived incorrectly, and then mistakes happen like in the example above. Below is the correct quote.

One of my biggest ‘ah ha’ moments was realizing that what I see in print may not be what someone else sees. I remember watching a student read aloud. His eyes glossed over and he seemed a world away. Then he made mistakes with words that he knew on the previous page. He was disoriented. If only I knew then, what I know now.


- Helen McGillivray

Other Challenges

Disorientation affects more than just reading. Many individuals face other challenges, which stem from the same thinking style as dyslexia but may be labelled differently - here are just a few...



  • Math Problems




  • Handwriting Difficulties




  • Balance/Motor coordination difficulties

Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)


  • Auditory perception difficulties

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)


  • Focus, Time Management and Organizational Problems


Mind Over Dyslexia can help you take control of and maximize your thinking style to overcome these learning challenges.

Learn about Programs & Services or Contact Mind Over Dyslexia directly

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