Surviving Poor Reading Solutions
Typically, the dyslexic child’s learning to read scenario starts with eagerly wanting to learn how to read followed by the realization they can’t read like their peers. At this juncture, the parent(s) painstakingly witnesses days, weeks, months, and even years of attempts to sound out words - which more or less are a foreign concept to their child - and other attempts at reading improvement.
The learning to read scenario continues to progress (or fall apart) toward: “I don’t like to read; I don’t want to read” and eventually, “I hate to read.”
Witnessed Adult Poor Reading Solutions:
Reading Solution #1:
Some dyslexic readers attempt to game the reading system by reading the first and last paragraph of a page or of an article. Usually, they will have to work their way back up through the paragraphs to gain enough information to make sense of what they are reading. This approach is marginal at best. What I hear from adults who read in this manner is that they “hate” to read because confusion reigns.
Note: The English language is read left to right and once that a line is read/completed, then you move down to the next line. For those that are learning to read, short cuts are a bad solution.
Reading Solution #2:
The most common poor reading solution, which by the way, is condoned in most school systems today, is to have someone else orally read the text to the child. Comprehension with this approach is usually very good. However, once this “reader” graduates from high school or college, who is going to read the material in the corporate, professional or business world to this person? This approach leaves the adult dyslexic reader totally unprepared for the real world and this individual is often prone to severe mood disorder challenges.
Reading Solution #3:
If the dyslexic English reader has not mastered the 300 abstract words and symbols, then there will be numerous interruptions which generate too much incomprehensible confusion. The result is that the reader will read the text two or three times in an attempt to comprehend. Usually after the third go-round, the reader gives up or moves on down the page hoping to make sense of what is being read. This solution leads to a very slow reader with probably “OK” comprehension. Certainly, this does not indicate or achieve the potential of the mind of this individual.
Writing solution #1:
Perhaps more noteworthy is the attempt to hand-write words on paper, which is an even more perplexing task for these individuals. When one writes, the writer chooses every word. If all three parts of a word have not been mastered, then any of these words can act as blank spots. Often the result is about 2/3 of the conversation in the individual’s mind makes it to paper. And oftentimes, 30 minutes later, even the writer cannot follow their own train of written thoughts. (Hint: A writing solution that works for adults is to invest in an age-appropriate voice dictation software. This solution puts the words onto paper; it does not improve the ability to communicate with handwritten messages and must not be used by children before they learn to read all 300 abstract words and learn to write.)
Reading Solution #4:
Some parents attempt to solve their child’s reading problem through ophthalmology involving eye exercises that can take up to three years to complete. Unfortunately, a common result can be a child who can see no more than 2 to 3 words at a time. This child becomes a very slow adult reader who still has interruption issues with abstract words and symbols. Typically, these individuals, as adults, will avoid any profession that requires significant reading and writing. Again, more minds that will not live up to their full potential.
An interesting sidenote: somewhere between 5-10% of dyslexic readers unconsciously figure out the tools that they need to read successfully. I have heard on several occasions that reading was “very difficult in undergraduate school, and then for some reason, it got easier in graduate school.” I think the reason reading got easier was because these individuals unconsciously mastered the three parts of all words, including abstract words and symbols. Given time and enough passion for learning, a dyslexic mind can sometimes find ways to successfully learn to read and enjoy reading.
Also, another noteworthy tidbit: the dyslexic reader just about always scores low on standardized test material, whether it be the SAT test, or some other government type of test. The reason for this is the proliferation of abstract words and symbols within the text and the answers to choose from.
My Thoughts and Experience
If you are dyslexic and you can read, be grateful! Hopefully, you have been able to work around your poor reading solution(s) and have found a way to function in today’s society. Although you are probably not achieving your full potential; congratulations, because the good news is that you are not in jail or juvenile, as so many dyslexic teens and adults are. Nor have you gone “crazy in the head,” as a small percentage have and are now in health institutions.
In 1964, my parents opted for me to do years of ophthalmology exercises. I did them every day before school and made several visits each week to the doctor’s office after school. It was a hardship for all of my family, but we did get me to be able to read. I believe, with divine intervention, somehow, I managed to get through college. (By the way, even though I was able to get through college, I really don’t think I learned anything. That said, the degree I received did open the doors for sales interviews and a career.)
The result of years of ophthalmology exercises, where I worked with 2-dimensional images that I had to manipulate, is that I can still only see 2-3 written words at a time when I read. Consequently, reading is a slow laborious chore, which also means that if I am not interested or if I am confused by a topic, I do not finish what I am reading. To this day, I seek out experts to explain the topics or material in areas where I don’t have a passion to learn it myself. And wisely, I will ask others to corroborate what I believe to be true from what I read.
Also, the eye therapy route did not solve my predominantly three-dimensional thinking issues that the dyslexic’s mind must contend with while reading flat, two-dimensional text filled with abstract words and symbols. In other words, my ophthalmology therapy left me as an “uncorrected” dyslexic who was constantly being interrupted while reading. My solution was to put myself in working situations where I had to read and write as little as possible. Consequentially, only now, having mastered all 300 abstract words and symbols, am I reading and writing (thanks to voice dictation software) much better, and capable of achieving my full potential as a dyslexic entrepreneur. And I thank God for that!
In conclusion, no matter what your poor reading solution is, to be successful in your business life, the adult dyslexic must take the time to learn and experience the power of stabilizing their Mind’s Eye on "The Spot,” as well as master all the abstract words & symbols that they encounter in their daily life.
The interruptions that occur while reading must stop! If you want to comprehend more fully what you read, read better, read more, and possibly read for enjoyment!
Learn to Read, so you can Read to Learn.™