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Correct Dyslexia reading distortions with NLP

April 30th, 2013 by Tony Barlow

NLP swish  dyslexiaI discovered this method to correct Dyslexia reading distortions during the past 12 years of work with struggling students and it is published here for the first time.

I am not claiming to have 'found a cure for dyslexia'. This article deals only with reading distortions and I'm sure there are people out there with genuine neurological deficiencies that there may be no easy solutions for.

This is my personal experience with students who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia or mild dyslexia. According to my results using NLP either these students were misdiagnosed or Dyslexia is not what we thought it was.


This article will introduce you to an NLP technique called a swish pattern. Although a swish pattern can be used in any representational system (Auditory, Kinesthetic, etc.) we are going to be talking here about a visual swish pattern and how to use a visual swish to correct Dyslexia type reading distortions.
Related article: Dyslexia Solutions with NLP.

When human beings learn a mental skill such as: doing a mental math calculation, learning the spelling of a word or reading. At first these are quite slow conscious processes. After a while these mental processes become automated. We don't have to consciously think about the task any more 'It just happens'. Our brain starts to do it on auto pilot or unconsciously. Neurologically we have built up strong neural pathways.

This is wonderful if it's an effective mental process or behavior. But if our automatic behavior or response is not working for us it's not a good thing.

The NLP Swish pattern is designed to quickly install a new automatic response, a new neurological re wiring if you like, in this case to correct Dyslexia type issues with reading.


See Dyslexia Solutions with NLP to find out what a reading distortion is, but in brief it's when the student reports that words are moving on the page. Here is step one in order to correct Dyslexia type reading distortions.

Reading distortions that I have identified come in 2 categories.

1) As a response to confusion. The reader only has a distortion when a word is not recognized or the meaning is not understood is an example of this and only that word distorts or mixes.

2) The entire text or paragraph moves or distorts in some way.

Some students will stop on a word just because they don't recognize the word or for some other reason, then obviously the solution is different.
If the student tells you that the words are moving, mixing, jumping, vanishing, appearing on top of each other, then this may be a distortion / hallucination.

You need to ask the student what's happening when they get stuck on a word or start struggling as they may not volunteer the information.
Don't suggest things like "Is the word moving?" younger children may answer "yes" just because you asked a question.

Ask questions like "Whats happening now?", or "Is anything happening to the words?" or "Can you see the words well?".
The solution to the above is essentially the same, I just wanted to distinguish between a standard reading difficulty and an actual distortion.


Step two in order to correct Dyslexia distortions goes like this: The reading distortion will be triggered by a specific stimulus, more often that not it's a word that the student does not recognize. Or it could be a certain size or type of text. Find the exact moment the distortion occurs.

-Is it as soon as they look at the page?

-Only on certain words?

-Only when text gets smaller or lines closer together?

So find out when the automatic response occurs in other words what triggers it. If you can find the trigger you can change the response using the NLP Swish pattern.

This may take a bit more time with younger children so keep asking and have them read a few different texts until you find the pattern.


Here is the basics of the method I use to correct Dyslexia style reading hallucinations, you will require some experience with NLP to be able to use this technique.

Stage 1) Visualize the moment before a distortion occurs. Have the student close their eyes and visualize the moment before a distortion occurs. For example if the distortion occurs only on words they don't recognize. Have them imagine that they are reading and are just about to come up to a word that they don't know.
Stage 2) Visualize in another location a perfectly still image of the page of text word or paragraph: Have them visualize another image off to one side or out in the distance of a perfectly still page of text.
Stage 3) Swish the two images: Just before the word / words start to move or distort. Quickly bring in (Swish in) the still image. So that the still image replaces the first image. Do this very quickly. Then have the student clear their mind and start again.
This is like telling the brain. When you start to do this (distortion). Do THIS instead. (Make it still)
*Make sure the student clears their mind before starting each swish or you might reinforce the problem. To clear their mind just have them think of something else for a moment.


(Correct Dyslexia with NLP)

This will vary from person to person but you will need to reinforce the new neural pathway that has been created and keep testing until you get a result.

I suggest the following:

-Repeat the swish pattern 10 times * Clearing thoughts between each swish

-Test: Have them read something and ask them "How is it now, are the words still yet?"

-If not yet then do another 10 swishes (MAKE SURE THEY ARE DOING THE SWISH CORRECTLY) keep asking them "How are you doing the swish?, describe it to me?, where is the picture coming from?, are you clearing your mind between each one?" Etc.

-Repeat the swish 10 more times (this only takes 1 or 2 seconds per time) The swish should happen in about the same amount of time it takes you to say "Swish".

I realize that it may take a little bit of NLP experience to achieve this result successfully but hopefully this article will give you enough information to help yourself or your student with this issue.

Things that are not included in this article are the language patterns that I use to constantly reinforce the students belief that this is possible.

I would build up their belief in the process before starting and one or two other elements would be there depending on my level of rapport with the student.

Some people will tell you that you cannot correct Dyslexia type reading distortions and that you just have to cope with it.

This may be true in some cases where there is genuine neurological deficiency, but in the vast majority of students who are diagnosed with mild Dyslexia or Dyslexia this method can turn their school lives around and I urge you to give it a full try.

Don't just dismiss it because it goes against what you have heard the 'experts' tell you.

*Note: The problem can sometimes be an eye convergence issue, if this is the case, ALL words will mix together and not just some of them.

If you need more help please contact me and I will respond to all requests and questions.

I pride myself in responding to all emails and communications as the main purpose of this website is to inform as many people as possible what I have discovered using NLP and to help as many students as possible.


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Thank you for reading this article, I really appreciate you coming to my site, I hope you are enjoying and benefiting from the information here. This site is designed to be the ultimate free resource for students / parents of struggling students.

Recommended book on NLP related to this article: ( Correct Dyslexia Dubai / Solutions with NLP.) Robert Dilts Phd. Co Developer of NLP. Dynamic Learning.

Please leave a comment below because I'd love to hear what you think!
Thanks again, and good luck! 

One Response to “Correct Dyslexia reading distortions with NLP”

January 31, 2017 at 2:31 pm, Kathleen said:

Thank you for this article. I am learning NLP and coaching. I will be trying this on my son tonight.


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