Are We Born With Dyslexia?

Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 13-04-2010

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The belief that we are born with dyslexia [or dyscalculia, which is the numerical version of dyslexia] has been drummed into us for decades, so there’s absolutely no wonder it’s so prevalent amongst members of all generations.  But countless experience has proven that the answer to this question is a resounding no.

History helps us understand the presence.  If we go by the principle that everything that is said or experienced is said or experienced by somebody, we’ll more easily relate to what comes next.  In exactly the same way as the number 65 was arbitrarily picked by the German government officials in 1948 as the minimum retirement age – which was followed by a number of other countries adopting it, back in history whenever the first person discovered that another person had some difficulty with language, this [discovering] person didn’t know how to deal with the other person’s difficulty.  All s/he could do at that time is label the other person’s difficult experience.  So the label that was born was ‘dyslexia’ which is a Latin word meaning ‘difficulty with language’. The news spread around the neighborhood, town, region, country, another country… to the world.  Since bad news spreads [and sells] faster than good news, it kept spreading and people were so preoccupied with its content that nobody ever questioned its process.  All this happened in time = years ticked by until time passed til recently when people started questioning the process.

So that’s the history. But what consequences did the history leave on many future generations since that first person?  Such that most people, especially representatives of now more senior tier of population, still firmly believe that people who have dyslexia are born with it.  Well, here’re two facts that mitigate against this belief:

  • Dyslexia is a learnt behavior, not a disease or condition.

At birth there’s nothing different about the person who will later become dyslexic from the person who won’t.  The difference will come later in the affected person’s life.   Once a person reaches the age of 3 to 4 years, a few factors will come into play.  Firstly, 3 to 4 years is the age when a child first comes across written words and numbers.  Up to this age everything in the child’s environment, alive or inanimate, is 3-dimensional.  People, furniture, toys, food…  But a word and a number are the first things in 2 dimensions.  And this can confuse the brain.  As a result of this confusion the brain will attempt to recreate the third dimension.  So it will start turning the word or number in all directions simultaneously or moving the word or number around the page.  And this is exactly how the child gets into having dyslexic tendencies.

  • Dyslexia is certainly not genetic.

A child, especially at the age of 3 to 4 years, has not yet developed reasoning.  So all the child can do is simply copy the behaviors of parents and siblings.  If a parent, the pair of parents, or a sibling display(s) dyslexic behaviors, the child will copy those behaviors and internalize them as the norm.   This is also why there’re whole families with dyslexia.  They’ve all unconsciously learned the dyslexic behaviors from one another and it is exactly the unconscious nature of the learning that gives them the explanation to believing that dyslexia is genetic.

Contact me for more NLP help with dyslexia.


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