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Picture thinking and Dyslexia

Rupa Sharat

All About Child

Do you know? Today’s statistics says that 1 out of 8 children is dyslexic and 85% of Dyslexics think in pictures.

So what does thinking in pictures mean? For those of you who think you do not think in pictures, you are wrong. We were all born picture thinkers till we started going through formal schooling. Most of us make that switch to word thinking/verbal thinking, as we learn our letters and numbers. Some of the gifted ones remain picture thinkers and see everything in 3 dimension. Isn’t that an exciting way to look at things. Unfortunately it is not so helpful when learning letters and numbers. Yes this gift of seeing 3D turns into a curse when it comes to learning certain letters to begin with eg. b can be seen as b,d,p or q. So a 4 year old picture thinker looks confused with certain letters and the teacher and parent is patiently reminding them to check the direction of the letters.

Special caution to those of you with young children who are reversing their letters: Please do not conclude your child is dyslexic. Dyslexia is diagnosed only after the age of 6 and not before. You may ask WHY? Well only if a child carries this difficulty ahead while forming words and while reading and writing can we formally diagnose dyslexia.

So what exactly causes the learning difficulty? Since these children are picture thinkers and they think 3 dimensionally they see the letters reversed and the words are a whole different story eg bed can be perceived as bed, deb, peb, peq, bep, beq,ded and so on, you can imagine what is going through the child’s mind, YES CONFUSION. This confusion can make the child dizzy, nauseated, give a bad headache, which is a good reason for the child to avoid reading.

When it comes to comprehending what the child reads, since the child is able to form pictures for every word in order to understand the meaning of the sentence they are reading. So if the sentence is “The fat cat ran after the rat” the child is only able to picture “— fat cat ran—- —– rat”. The words that the child cannot form pictures are “The” “after” and “the” these words are words that trigger the confusion cause the sentence does not make full sense, and this is just the beginning of comprehending a whole passage. This confusion trickles into writing, copying from the board or copying from a book etc.

You can imagine how mentally draining it is for the child throughout the day in school.

Try reading this: Click on this link to get a feel of what it is like to read when dealing with dyslexia.


In the meantime there are other difficulties that have manifested eg confusion with directions leading to wearing the footwear the wrong way, confusion with right and left, difficulty tying laces, extreme tidiness or untidiness, short term memory losses. Eg forgetting what they had for breakfast or lunch, forgetting to bring a message back from school, forgetting to turn in homework, misplacing things etc

While on one end the picture thinking causes all these difficulties IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS. These wonderful thinkers are extremely creative and have a beautiful imagination with no boundaries. They are able to think out of the box to solve complicated problems. They generally have the power to visualise the big picture. They are good storytellers, very creative in art, music, drama, good sportsmen and interested in any field which involves visualising and multi-dimensional thinking. They are curious people with a lot of questions.


The answer is using the child’s strengths and giving them a few tools to use. Davis Dyslexia Correction Program is a 10 to 15 days program that is delivered to the child using some very unique but simple methods. This is done with the help of clay which is a great medium for multi-sensory learners.

Want to know more details about this correction method, then contact Rupa Sharat Kumar a Licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitator.

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