October is almost over and it is a good moment to reflect back over Dyslexia Awareness Week. I used it to explore my clients’, often extraordinary, ability to use visual thought. This may be a strong spatial awareness or the ability see the connections between object or concepts. It can result in creative thinking and the ability to see relationships that other people may have overlooked. Unfortunately, this can have the disadvantage that it is difficult to identify primary connections and can cause problems at school as students are perceived as being off-target when they produce unexpected answers. So whilst this style of processing information means that the students excel once they have a good global overview, school can be a difficult place when information is presented in small chunks of unconnected detail.
One of my adult clients, Gerald, was the electrical supervisor in a large industrial plant. He had the amazing ability to see all the electric circuitry in his mind and could find the cause of any problem within moments. He had travelled a great distance to do a Davis Dyslexia Correction Programme with me as his reading skills were poor and he had low self-confidence and spent the week in a local B&B.
At the end of the week, I asked Gerald what the highlights had been for him. We had had a very successful programme so I was taken aback when he told me that best thing had been a steak dinner. But then he explained that the previous evening, for the first time in his life, he had driven to the centre of town, found a restaurant and eaten on his own. He had read the road signs, selected from the menu and checked the bill with confidence. He had finally manged to quieten his mind and stop looking at written words as if they were three-dimensional.
It was only then that I realised the significance of his statement “I didn’t order the special of the day”.