Dyslexia is sometimes described as ‘word-blindness’. For the non-dyslexic, this can be a hard concept to grasp. How can you “not see” words on a page if you can see everything else around you perfectly well?
The experience of dyslexia and this idea of ‘word blindness’ is described beautifully by a 15-year old boy we recently assessed:
“Some people who are dyslexic say that letters and words move around on the page for them, and that is what makes it so hard to read. That is not what it is like for me. For me, letters disappear, and I just have to ‘make-up’ the letters that are missing. So, for example, the word ‘tried’, I might see as ‘t d’, so I just do my best to fill in the gaps for the letters I can’t see. To me, that word could be ‘tried’ or ‘tired’, or ‘told’ or ‘tiled’. It means I have to work really hard to use the meaning of the sentence in which a word appears to make a good guess as to what it might be. It does mean that reading takes a lot of energy. It also slows me down and if I choose the wrong word, it can totally stuff up the meaning of a sentence!”