The right and left brain work together to process and store thoughts. The process begins with the right brain collecting incoming information through short term memory, then changing it into whole, concrete images it can visualize and store in long term memory. To use these whole visual images to think and analyze, the right brain must first change them into the “language of the left brain” which is letters, words and numbers. To do this the right-brain sends the information from the concrete images along neuro pathways to the part of the left brain specially developed to process words and numbers and think in terms of “cause and effect”. However a “right brain thinker“ can have problems with this transfer of information and trying to process it adequately. To overcome these processing difficulties they must be trained how to understand their thinking and learning style and how to use it effectively.
Making the teacher part of the solution to Dyslexia Teaching the dyslexic student begins with understanding that these students are right-brained and think in whole concrete images, not in words and numbers as the left brain does.
Your job as a parent or teacher is to provide the skills that enable the student to understand and transfer those concrete images to the left brain that will then turn them into letters, words and numbers which are the language of the left brain.
Changing whole concrete images into printed words requires a totally different teaching approach for the dyslexic student in which even the obvious learning tasks must be pointed out and demonstrated. This is because the right brain thinks in complete wholes and cannot see the parts, which are represented by words and sentences.
Also these students are intelligent and intuitive which means they can often unexpectedly fill in the blanks in an assignment. This fools teachers and psychologists into thinking the students are doing well enough not to warrant special training that accommodates their needs.
Five important teaching factors addressed by the Dyslexia Victoria Online Method that help dyslexics learn:
1. Thinking in concrete images means they see everything in wholes, even a page of printed words. We must teach to them in concrete images.
2. Many of these students may not be able to read, spell, write or do mathematics using the traditional methods taught in school to express their thoughts and answers. We must help them develop appropriate skills for all of these learning topics.
3. They must be trained how to distinguish the parts within each “concrete whole” such as the printed letters inside words , words in sentences and sentences on a whole page. Until they can read the words (parts within the whole) and know what they represent, these students cannot locate the answers to questions in a story or poem.
4. Thinking in concrete wholes also causes them difficulty with the abstract. Numbers, sounds, letters and words all seem abstract to the student who processes information mostly form the right half of the brain. They need ways to work with abstract words and ideas that the right brain cannot easily change into concrete images or visualized pictures.
5. Thinking in wholes and unable to distinguish the parts within the whole image makes sequencing letters, words, numbers, sentences, ideas, lessons and instructions a major learning problem. This problem occurs in almost every learning situation they have from arithmetic factors through to writing essays.
Consequently, teaching the skills the dyslexic needs means teaching spelling, reading, writing and mathematics using methods that are based on real images and examples seen in the real world. These ideas are taught as “wholes”: whole lessons, whole assignments, whole concepts, and complete systems of thinking and learning procedures. No shortcuts.
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