What Is Dyseidetic Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common concern as it affects many children and adults. And although no two dyslexics have exactly the same symptoms, there are key symptoms which you can, quite easily, pick up.

Children whose reading difficulties relate to visual-processing weaknesses have been called visual dyslexics, visuo-spatial dyslexics, or dyseidetic dyslexics. These children’s primary deficit is in the ability to recognize and remember how letter and whole-word configurations look. They seem to attend only to partial cues in words, overlooking a systematic analysis of English orthography.

The dyseidetic child generally has a good grasp of phonetic concepts. The prominent characteristic of the dyseidetic is the inability to revisualize the gestalt of the word. Usually, the child has little difficulty spelling words which may be long but are phonetically regular. It is the small but irregular nonphonetic words, such as what, the, talk, does, that create the greatest difficulty for this child.

Author Corinne Roth Smith lists the reading and spelling patterns of children with dyseidetic dyslexia:

  • Confusion with letters that differ in orientation (b-d, p-q).
  • Confusion with words that can be dynamically reversed (was-saw).
  • Very limited sight vocabulary; few words are instantly recognized from their whole configuration — they need to be sounded out laboriously, as though being seen for the first time.
  • Losing the place because one doesn’t instantly recognize what had already been read, as when switching one’s gaze from the right side of one line to the left side of the next line.
  • Omitting letters and words because they weren’t visually noted.
  • Masking the image of one letter, by moving the eye too rapidly to the subsequent letter, may result in omission of the first letter.
  • Difficulty learning irregular words that can’t be sounded out (for example, sight).
  • Difficulty with rapid retrieval of words due to visual retrieval weaknesses.
  • Visual stimuli in reading prove so confusing that it is easier for the child to learn to read by first spelling the words orally and then putting them in print.
  • Insertions, omissions, and substitutions, if the meaning of the passage is guiding reading.
  • Strengths in left hemisphere language-processing, analytical and sequential abilities, and detail analysis; can laboriously sound out phonetically regular words even up to grade level.
  • Difficulty recalling the shape of a letter when writing.
  • Spells phonetically but not bizarrely (laf-laugh; bisnis-business).
  • Can spell difficult phonetic words but not simple irregular words.
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How can Edublox help?

The Edublox point of view, based on the latest research, is that dyslexia is not a DISability but simply an INability. While there are other causes, the most common cause of dyslexia is that the foundational skills of reading and spelling have not been mastered properly.

Learning is a stratified process. One step needs to be mastered well enough before subsequent steps can be learned. This means that there is a sequence involved in learning. It is like climbing a ladder; if you miss one of the rungs of the ladder, you will fall. If you miss out on one of the important steps in the learning process, you will not be able to master subsequent steps.

A simple and practical example of this is the fact that one has to learn to count before it becomes possible to learn to add and subtract. If one tries to teach a child to add and subtract before he has been taught to count, one will quickly discover that no amount of effort will ever succeed in teaching the child these skills.

This principle is also of great importance on the sports field. If we go to a soccer field to watch the coach at work, we shall soon find that he spends a lot of time drilling his players in basic skills, like heading, passing, dribbling, kicking, etc. The players who are most proficient at these basic skills usually turn out to be the best players in the actual game situation.

In the same way, there are also certain skills and knowledge that a child must acquire first, before it becomes possible for him to become a good reader. 

Edublox’s Dyslexia Program consists of Reading Tutor plus a few additional hands-on exercises. Reading Tutor aims at addressing the underlying shortcomings that interfere with reading and spelling performance, such as deficient visual processing and poor auditory memory. The program also comprises a comprehensive exercise aimed at teaching reading and spelling, and at expanding vocabulary. The additional exercises, free of charge, aim at overcoming letters reversals, etc. To implement the program you need to subscribe to Reading Tutor, and then contact [email protected] to gain access to the additional exercises.

The only solution for a problem like dyslexia is to address the causes. Until we have done that, the child will continue to struggle.

About Edublox Online Tutor

Edublox Online Tutor offers multisensory cognitive training that enables learners to overcome reading problems and learning challenges and reach their full potential. Over the last 30+ years, the company behind the Online Tutor e-learning platform, Edublox, has helped thousands of children to read, learn and achieve through home kits and learning clinics internationally. Our programs are founded on pedagogical research and more than three decades of experience demonstrating that weak underlying cognitive skills account for the majority of learning difficulties. Specific cognitive exercises can strengthen these weaknesses leading to increased performance in reading, spelling, writing, math and learning.