NLP for Help With Dyslexia

Filed Under (NLP coaching learning difficulties) on 01-04-2012

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How can NLP help with dyslexia? Here are 3 questions.  I hope that the answers will benefit you.

1. What is dyslexia? Is it a learning disability where someone has trouble reading and writing?

The word dyslexia comes from Latin and means difficulty with language.  People think – because it has been drummed into them from time immemorial – that dyslexia is a learning disability, but it’s nothing more than a learnt behavior which people treat as a disability. The brain learns this behaviour at some young stage because something confuses it.  What usually confuses the brain are words and numbers. The reason why they confuse the brain is that they’re the first two-dimensional things that the brain comes across. Dyslexia can reveal itself in many ways:

  • difficulty with reading
  • slow reading
  • poor or no reading comprehension – the reader forgets what s/he read when s/he closes the book
  • impossible, slow, or ugly writing
  • inability or low ability to spell
  • and many other things. Every person’s dyslexia is different, so the best thing is to ask.

2. There’re actors who are dyslexlic. Don’t they need to memorise heaps of lines?

Actors are primarily auditory, so memorizing lines doesn’t pose a problem because they do it by sound.  As long as dyslexic actors don’t have to go near the printed word, they’ll memorize any lines!  I said primarily auditory.  Primarily doesn’t mean only. Every person is visual and feeling too. The question is to what extent each. And that also doesn’t mean that all actors are only auditory.

Those who are primarily visual will memorize lines by methods such as loci whereby they memorize contexts through making nearby objects their memory anchors and then looking at the objects in the order in which they need to memorize the things corresponding to the objects.  So the appropriate lines will come when the actors look at the object that anchors those lines.  Also, because they’ve been memorizing lines daily for years, they’ve trained their brains and their memories will therefore be excellent!

3. Why do people with dyslexia wear blue and green glasses?

A person is officially “diagnosed” with dyslexia when s/he looks at a page full of words and the words move around.  The tinted glasses are supposed to stop the movement.  They will stop it up to a point, but will never completely get a person out of dyslexia, because if the person’s brain produces the movement, it doesn’t matter whether s/he sees the page through green, blue, or pink glasses. The words will still move. The movement comes from the brain, hence from within the person.

What causes dyslexia?

In many cases dyslexia occurs when children first come across words.  The reason is that up to the age when a child starts reading and writing everything in the child’s world is three-dimensional.  Words and numbers are the first things in two dimensions and this can confuse the brain.  Because people with dyslexia are incredibly visual they work very hard to recreate the third dimension by turning words and numbers in all directions in their imaginations.  This causes the letters or words to move around the page, so there’s no wonder that they have nightmares about reading or writing words!

Another common reason for dyslexia is that if a child has a parent or parents who have dyslexia, the child will naturally take it as the norm. “If mom and dad do it this way, this is how I should do it”.  The child will copy the behaviours of the parent(s) without knowing why, because a child does not have developed reasoning.

How can we use NLP to help with and prevent dyslexia?

Therefore teach children from their youngest age to see words as pictures in their imaginations, because this is how people without dyslexia do it.  Ask a good speller to spell a word and s/he’ll see it in his/her mind as a still [=not moving] picture. The picture of the word will feel right, and then s/he’ll spell it.  People with dyslexia do not SEE the word because the words move or for other reasons. Instead they try to say each letter or feel for how the word should be spelt: “hmmm, this feels / doesn’t feel right!”.  This is unreliable because sounds and feelings take time.  But when you see a picture, you see a lot of information in a fraction of a second. And the same applies when you remember something as a picture!

Tell children stories and encourage them to visualize [imagine] the content of the stories.  Ask them where, when, what, how, why, and who was in the story and what things and people looked like.  You’ll be teaching reading comprehension and they’ll remember what they read for much longer after they’ve closed the book!  And moving words will not be an issue.

Do you have dyslexia? Or do you know someone who has it? NLP will help with dyslexia. Let’s talk about how.

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