The Dyslexic Brain

The human brain was not designed to read; it was built for oral communication. Therefore, speaking comes naturally but reading must be explicitly taught. While some learn to read with ease, for others, it is much more difficult.

Brain Processing Explained

Reading is a complex process. It requires the rapid visual processing of symbols, retrieving the related sound for each symbol, and fluently blending those sounds together. But this is just step one. The brain must also associate meaning, or multiple meanings, with each word, decipher what the author’s intended purpose is, and be able to generate the appropriate response.


That response may be given orally, or it might have to be written down, which in turn, reverses the process in the brain. One must think of what to say, choose the correct words to relay meaning, break those words down to sounds, and retrieve the correct letters to spell each sound.


In addition, English is a layered language with influences from many other languages like German, Norse, French, Latin, Greek, and many others. These added elements provide more sounds and more spellings of those sounds, which some say makes English a crazy language. It isn’t that English is crazy; it is multifaceted.


When children struggle with this process, their brains are not broken and they are not stupid. Children need to know this. They need to know that they can be taught to read and spell, and it doesn’t mean they will struggle with everything. In fact, dyslexics often think of creative and unexpected ways to solve problems and challenges.

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