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Reading Disabilities – Visual Memory

December 21, 2020


“Another area that can be identified for children that have trouble learning to read is that orthographic piece. So not the sound piece of the language, but what the language looks like. So, many times in our English language, we have to know what the words look like. Words like “”was”” and “”of”” cannot be sounded out. So we have to just have a visual memory for those words. So many children, although they may be good with sounds like I talked about before, the blending and the segmenting, they may have that phonics based skills down, but they have trouble with the visual memory aspect of language. So they just have to memorize these words that we can’t sound out. And that is the more difficult part of a reading disability, because children just have to be able to remember what they’re seeing. So oftentimes we hear about individuals with dyslexia or reading disability, and automatically people think that you see the letters backward or that you see “”was”” for “”saw.””

And that’s not exactly what’s happening. It’s not a visually based disability. It’s happening further into the brain and what children, they just have a difficulty remembering how the letters are formed. For example, early in childhood, when you’re three and four years old, you learn that a watch is a watch is a watch is a watch, no matter what direction you turn it upside down. However, a B is not a B. If it’s upside down, then it’s a different letter. Or if it’s turned around, then it’s a D. So orientation is very important as we start to learn to read. And it’s really not that they see the numbers or the letters backward, but they’re just perceiving or having trouble remembering those letters in that particular orientation.”

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