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What Is Visual Dyslexia?

Children whose reading difficulties relate to visual-processing weaknesses have been called visual dyslexics, visuospatial dyslexics, or dyseidetic dyslexics. These childrenís primary deficit is in the ability to recognize and remember how letter and whole-word configurations look. They seem to attend only to partial cues in words, overlooking a systematic analysis of English orthography. In her book Learning Disabilities: The Interaction of Learner, Task, and Setting (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1991) author Corinne Roth Smith lists the reading and spelling patterns of children with visual processing weaknesses as follows:

  • Confusion with letters that differ in orientation (b-d, p-q).

  • Confusion with words that can be dynamically reversed (was-saw).

  • Very limited sight vocabulary; few words are instantly recognized from their whole configuration — they need to be sounded out laboriously, as though being seen for the first time.

  • Losing the place because one doesnít instantly recognize what had already been read, as when switching oneís gaze from the right side of one line to the left side of the next line.

  • Omitting letters and words because they werenít visually noted.

  • Masking the image of one letter, by moving the eye too rapidly to the subsequent letter, may result in omission of the first letter.

  • Difficulty learning irregular words that canít be sounded out (for example, sight).

  • Difficulty with rapid retrieval of words due to visual retrieval weaknesses.

  • Visual stimuli in reading prove so confusing that it is easier for the child to learn to read by first spelling the words orally and then putting them in print.

  • Insertions, omissions, and substitutions, if the meaning of the passage is guiding reading.

  • Strengths in left hemisphere language-processing, analytical and sequential abilities, and detail analysis; can laboriously sound out phonetically regular words even up to grade level.

  • Difficulty recalling the shape of a letter when writing.

  • Spells phonetically but not bizarrely (laf-laugh; bisnis-business).

  • Can spell difficult phonetic words but not simple irregular words.

Edublox programs are effective in overcoming dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning difficulties by addressing the underlying shortcomings that interfere with academic performance.
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