What is it?
“The Dyslexia Association of Ireland defines dyslexia as a specific learning difficulty affecting the acquisition of fluent and accurate reading and spelling skills. This occurs despite access to appropriate learning opportunities. Dyslexia is characterised by cognitive difficulties in phonological processing, working memory, and speed of retrieval of information from long term memory”1. (dyslexia.ie)
“Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding)”2. (mayoclinic.org)
Dyslexia has classically been described as “the inability to comprehend the written word”. It does not have anything to do with intelligence, but it typically refers to when someone has difficulty with reading, writing, or spelling. It does not mean they cannot comprehend the written word but that they have difficulty with it. A common characteristic of dyslexia is that an individual may get mixed up with certain letters, such as the letters “p, b, d & q. The reason why this happens is because, the front part of the eye is curved, it bends the light, creating an upside-down image on the retina. The retina is a complex part of the eye, and its job is to turn light into signals that the brain receives. The brain eventually corrects this signal from the retina, so we perceive the image the right way up.
For those with dyslexia the brain sometimes does not complete the conversion process. The brain does not invert (turn upside down) or reverse (flip back to front) the image. Or sometimes neither inverts nor reverses the image. This means that the letter “b” could appear to a person with dyslexia as a “d” if it is not reversed, it could appear as the letter “p” if not inverted and could appear as the letter “q” if brain neither reverses nor inverts the image. That is why often someone with dyslexia can find it easier to read from a book when it is turned upside down.
Those who have dyslexia can learn to read and spell, but it is usually much more difficult than for those without dyslexia. Because the brain does not consistently convert all the images the eyes see such as letters, it means that as a dyslexic person reads, the letters may not appear correctly as they scan through a sentence or paragraph. Words too can appear to be different because of this.
For example, the word “dear” could appear as the word “bear” or “pear” which are both words but could also appear as “qear” which is not a word but could be possibly read as “gear”. Also, those with dyslexia often describe how letters in words can appear to be swapped, so dear could appear as “daer”.
There can be full word reversal or other reversals such as...
- Letter reversals (d for b as in dog for bog)
- Letter inversions (m for w)
- Letter transpositions (felt and left)
- Word reversals (tip for pit)
- Word substitutions (house for home)
This can be very confusing and frustrating as the dyslexic person reads. Those with dyslexia can read, spell, and write but it takes much more time and energy to decode everything correctly. It also means that they cannot just scan through text quickly as the letters and even the words may become jumbled and can throw off the meaning of an entire sentence. Unless they really concentrate and focus, then they can make the conversion process take place meaning. Reading takes much more energy and mental focus than it would for a person without dyslexia.
Also, some research suggests that those with dyslexia spend more energy when switching their attention from seeing to hearing as switching from vision to audition occurs with less efficiency3. This may translate to challenges in the classroom setting as students have to switch attention from visual information on black boards or books to explanations by teachers.
Dyslexia can affect people to varying degree, some can have a much more severe form of dyslexia than others. Or it can affect them in different ways such as difficulty with numbers rather than letters or difficulty with the writing of letters and numbers.
Below is a diagram that we produced to show how words may be processes differently by the dyslexic brain and the non-dyslexic brain. In this case the word “help”
Where does it come from?
As described above dyslexia is related to how the brain processes and decodes the incoming visual information. Primarily how the brain decodes language and specifically the written word.
It is claimed that dyslexia is inherited and that one is born with it1. It is also more common in males.
Experts are not agreed on the underlying causes of dyslexia, although there are some theories. Some research suggests that a phonological deficit is the root cause of dyslexia. As evidence from brain imaging suggests that people with dyslexia do not activate the left hemisphere of the brain, the side which controls language as much when reading as non-dyslexic readers. And in the areas of the brain which match letters with sounds there is less engagement1.
Others such as Professor John Stein of Oxford believe that auditory and visual difficulties are caused by abnormal magnocellular development3. Or that malfunction in the development of sensory nerves happens during development in the womb may cause eye convergence difficulties and inhibit steady eye fixation.
Another theory is that, how the cerebellum, the part of the brain which controls balance functions, may make it difficult for children with dyslexia to acquire automaticity in tasks and further disrupt the development of language dexterity and motor skills1.
It is also suggested that there is a strong genetic link as it appears to run in families4. It is estimated that if you have dyslexia, there is a 40-60% likelihood that your child will also develop the condition5.
However, as dyslexia appears to relate to neurological or brain function it may be assumed that like other learning disorders and special needs its cause is neurodevelopmental disruption, delay or damage that occurs to the brain, skull, or nervous system. Damage that occurs to the brain due to disruption to development in the womb, from a traumatic birth or birth shock.
There may be some evidence to support this as risk factors include family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities, premature birth or low birth weight and exposure during pregnancy to nicotine, drugs, alcohol, or infection that may alter the child’s brain development in the womb4.
Consensus is that dyslexia comes from the brains inability to process information correctly. Or more accurately certain parts of the brain to process information correctly.
Dyslexia and the brain
It is thought that the reason people with dyslexia have problems with phonological processing is that some areas of their brain function in a different way than in people without the condition.
- Broca's area - which is thought to be involved in producing written words
- Parietotemporal region - which is thought to be involved in analysing written words
- Occipitotemporal region - which is thought to be involved in identifying written words.
Low brain activity levels in these areas may contribute to problems with phonological processing. Other research has looked at an area of the brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum is also responsible for coordination, and your ability to estimate how much time has passed. This may explain why many people with dyslexia have problems with coordination and time management.
It can be different for each person with dyslexia and each person’s dyslexia may present itself uniquely although there are many similar characteristics. The cause or causes of this seem to be from damage during development, during birth or sometime after birth. Also, environmental factors are highly likely to be involved. It appears that they are the same types of causes of ADD/ADHD and autism. It is likely that those with dyslexia have experienced less damage to the brain or developmental disruption compared to those that have ADD/ADHD or autism. These conditions can be reasoned to be on a sliding scale (spectrum disorders), with dyslexia at one end and severe autism at the other. This may be why these conditions so often occur together (co-morbidity). If you would like to know more on this, please read the articles on ADD/ADHD and autism for more information.
In our experience as HiddenMind therapists we have found through our therapy that dyslexia just like other special needs such as ADD/ADHD and autism is also related to incomplete brain hemisphere integration at the bioenergetic and neurological levels.
How does dyslexia affect people?
Those with dyslexia may face many challenges compared with those who do not. These may extend beyond the obvious challenges around reading, writing, spelling, and therefore learning. As learning and academics have a great influence on how one’s life path develops and where they end up in terms of career, relationships, sport etc. This can cause much stress and greater frustration resulting in anxiety but can also have a huge impact on their self-esteem, it can lead to aggression or even withdrawal from friends, parents, or teachers. There is greater risk of these occurring if dyslexia is not addressed. Dyslexia can prevent a child from reaching his or her potential as they grow and develop. Unfortunately, this can have real long-term educational, social, and economic consequences. Therefore, early intervention is key.
Other conditions that can occur with dyslexia are:
- Dyscalculia - difficulty in learning and comprehending mathematics.
- Dysgraphia - poor writing ability
- Dyspraxia - Compromised movement or aspects of learning such as thinking out, planning, and carrying out sensory or motor tasks.
- ADD / ADHD - Characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
- Asperger Syndrome - a developmental disorder at the high functioning end of the Autistic Spectrum associated with significant difficulties in social interaction and communication.
- Specific Language Impairment - Affects communication and is associated with impaired language comprehension, use of expressive language and speech-sound difficulties.
Prevalence of Dyslexia
- Dyslexic difficulties occur on a continuum from mild to severe and affect approximately 10% of the population. (ie)1
- Dyslexia is thought to be one of the most common learning difficulties. It is estimated that 4-8% of all schoolchildren have some degree of dyslexia (ie) https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/az/d/dyslexia/symptoms-of-dyslexia.html
- It's estimated up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia. (nhs.uk) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/
How HiddenMind therapies help those with Dyslexia?
- Engages directly with the subconscious mind
- Re-Integrates the left and right hemisphere of the brain
- Promotes healing at the brain level
- Can correct muscles around the eyes
- Gentle and non-invasive.
HiddenMind therapies helps those with dyslexia primarily by reintegrating the two hemispheres of the brain and promoting healing of the whole brain. This restores the brain’s ability to perform the conversion process (as described in the sections above) to take place. Therefore, the person with dyslexia gains or regains the ability to convert images correctly which may enhance their reading and learning aptitude. Potentially, even to the point where they may no longer be considered as being dyslexic. The corrections that take place will remain permanently after a number of sessions, the number may vary for each person depending on age, severity of the condition and individual characteristics. Those of any age with dyslexia will find benefits from the therapy. However, the younger that we can work with the dyslexic child/person the better as there will be less deconditioning or relearning that needs to take place, as often certain personal reading and/or learning strategies will have been developed or adopted.
As discussed in the sections above the cause of dyslexia is basically some type of neurodevelopmental disruption, delay or damage that occurs to the brain at some point throughout development. As part of the corrective process, it may be necessary to identify these faults or developmental disruption(s).
The therapist can pick up all the information that is needed for corrections to be made through the subconscious mind of the child/person, by using the method of dowsing. The therapist makes statements directed at the subconscious mind of the child/person and can get feedback in relation to their health. The focus of these statements is to measure energetically the level of integration between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, production and circulation of cerebral spinal fluid, levels of stress hormone production and much more. The sources of damage/developmental disruption are also investigated, this is to help figure out what factors have contributed to the emergence of dyslexia in that person. This investigation helps to build a picture of what is going on in the person’s body and by engaging with the subconscious this way the process of correction and healing is initiated.
Please read the HiddenMind: Investigative & Corrective Sound therapy section for more info on this.
Special sound frequencies are then selected and used to aid in and amplify the corrective process. Sound frequency and vibration can penetrate through the whole body, through every cell. In the case of dyslexia, it may help to break the established neural networks that have formed in the brain allowing new patterns for learning to be established and promoting overall learning ability.
HiddenMind: Bio-Energy therapy may also be used in the overall therapeutic approach as it supports healing throughout the whole body including the brain. It helps the child/person get into a relaxed state and promotes the calming of the stress response in the body. As often those with dyslexia also suffer from anxiety or are prone to anxiety associated with reading or learning.
The therapy stimulates healing at a deep level, it reprograms the brain and the body. Please read article on HiddenMind: Bio-Energy therapy for more info on how this happens.
If you would like to get more information on how we work with those with dyslexia or are interested in attending our clinics please contact us.
- Harrar V, Tammam J, Pe ́ rez-Bellido A, Pitt A, Stein J, Spence C. Current Biology 24, p531–535 (2014)