What is dyslexia?

Mark Eagle, Behavioural Optometrist, can share a lot of understanding about Learning-Related Visual Disabilities with you.

Reading is a highly Visual task. When speaking of vision, we are not referring to just whether the person can read the little letters on the eye chart – we are talking of the sensory processing of coded squiggles of ink into meaningful comprehension and on to meaningful communication.

Reading is partly about the creation of visual imagery to direct the reader to a particular view of the world or action in the world.

Some experts postulate that reading is an auditory dominant process and they centre on Phonics and Phonetic training. This position is not supported by the fact that we do not expect people to read with their eyes shut. Reading is a visually driven task and unless the decoded retinal image can be quickly and accurately processed through the visual pathways and visual memory there is not likely to be enough speed in the information processing pathways to make up by phonic attack for the visual deficit; Fluency is obstructed.

Reading is a language-based function, and it is part of what is meant by the term Dyslexia; that given normal intelligence there is a mismatch between the oral/ auditory language function versus the visually-acquired language function.

Here is the definition of Dyslexia that I have found to be simple, meaningful and relevant to the children that I see:

Dyslexia is when there is something strangely wrong with reading, writing or spelling despite the person having the intelligence and having had the educational opportunity to do better.

Young girl with hand in a heart shape around eye

Vision, in the broadest neurological sense, is the common thread to the sensory issues involved in reading laid out below.

Learning Related Visual Disabilities (LRVD)

  • Dyseidesia form of Dyslexia (Visual Dyslexia) (a weakness in flash-known word recognition of seen words)
  • Irlen Syndrome (Visual Stress)
  • Dyscalculia

Learning Related Auditory Disabilities (LRAD)

  • Dysphonesia form of Dyslexia (Auditory Dyslexia) (a weakness in flash-known sound recognition of seen words)
  • Phonologic deficits

Learning Related Cerebellar Disabilities (LRCD)

If a person has a weakness for Information processing, it can often be remediated by using the dominant sensory channel of Vision.

This is what we do with Optometric Vision Therapy.

Book an appointment with Mark Eagle to investigate this further.

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