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Dyslexia? help with NLP

NLP and Dyslexia in DubaiIf your child is having difficulties in school with reading, writing or spelling,  most schools will ask you to take your child to a specialist for an assessment.

After the assessment you will get a detailed report of the findings and sometimes a diagnosis may have a name such as dyslexia, mild dyslexia, auditory processing deficit or other.

These assessments are important to find out where your child currently stands compared to their peers, identify where the issues are and rule out more serious issues if you have some concerns.

In terms of offering you solutions to whatever your childs issues are this varies from nothing to some basic advice on what to do next.


In this Article:

  • The flaws in the ‘learning difficulties assessment process’
  • What I’ve found using NLP
  • Breakthrough Solutions using NLP

What the Assessments are missing

I believe, although useful for the reasons mentioned above, a ‘learning difficulties’ assessment has certain flaws that need to be addressed. (see also ‘The missing piece in our educational system’)

  • These assessments are based on the medical model of ‘identifying symptoms’ and diagnosis. They are looking at the observable results on the outside and not at the thought process happening on the inside. This is the major flaw in my opinion, because inside the thought process are often the answers to why the student is struggling.
  • There is an underlying belief that if a child is struggling severely with reading, spelling or literacy there is ‘something wrong’ neurologically. Although this may be true in some cases the vast majority of students who come to me with a diagnosis simply have a problem with the way they are thinking, which can be corrected.
  • The assessments are looking for ‘what is wrong’. As Richard Bandler often says “When you are looking for whats wrong, you’ll find it, When you look for solutions and what works, you’ll find that to.”
  • A child who has been told they are ‘Dyslexic’ can sometimes develop limiting beliefs about themselves which can (not always) make things worse.
  • There are some benefits to the diagnosis, such as extra time to take tests, extra tutoring. Some people feel relieved when they get the diagnosis “Oh, this means I’m not stupid, I have a real neurological condition” and they feel better.


Ok enough of me ranting about what I think is wrong with the current approach. Lets move now to a completely different way of looking at Dyslexia from my own NLP point of view.

First of all, what are the issues associated with the label ‘Dyslexia’. Typically Dyslexia is related to problems: learning the alphabet, reading distortions, reversing similar letters such as b’s and d’s, spelling, writing etc. I’m going to focus here on reading distortions.


What do I mean by ‘reading distortions’. This is the classic dyslexia symptom. The person will report that the words are moving on the page, mixing, or jumping up as they read. Words may appear or disappear.

This may seem like a vision problem (and in some cases it is). How can the words be mixing and moving ! !  What is going on here ?  All kinds of solutions have been proposed. Space the words out more, put special colored filters on the page etc.

My first experience of reading distortions was as follows:

A 13 year old boy came into my office in Abu Dhabi complaining of reading issues and he already had a dyslexia diagnosis. I asked him to read from his school book and I noticed the following:
Some words he read just fine – which showed me he did have the ability to read, and his issue was only in the context of certain words.
Other words he would start to squint and was not able to read the word.
So I asked him, “When you come to a word and you are having trouble and you squint your eyes like that, whats happening ?”
“The letters are mixing” was his reply or “The words sometimes flip over or move around”.
I was curious to know why he could read some words just fine but not others.
What I discovered was, only if he didn’t recognize the word it would start to distort and move.
(I have had many other students where all the words on the page move and the same solution applies.)


So how can this possibly be ? How can words move on the page ? If you are familiar at all with NLP or Hypnosis you will have heard of a visual hallucination / distortion. This occurs when you see something that isn’t there (positive hallucination) or you don’t see something that is there (negative hallucination) .

It works something like this:

When you are looking at an object you are not directly seeing it. The light from the object hits your retina which sends the data to the brain. The brain then interprets the data and creates an image. In other words your brain is creating the image that you see, you are not seeing it directly.

Your brain is capable of changing the image, if it gets confused, it will fill in what it thinks should be there. The same thing can occur with sound (auditory hallucination / distortion)


Visual Distortion

illusionTake a look at the image to the left, is anything moving ?

I’m sure you’ve seen these types of visual illusions before. The image is perfectly still.

I’m giving this as an example of how your brain can change what your eye is seeing.

The brains response to the confusion is to hallucinate movement.


Auditory Distortion

In this video the man is saying ‘BAA’ the whole time.

Close you eyes and listen again to prove it to yourself.

When you see his lips moving as if he is saying ‘FAA’ your brain will get confused and change what you are hearing to FAA.

This is an example of an auditory distortion / hallucination. The brain responds to the confusion and changes what you are hearing (The visual overrides the auditory, Known as the McGurk Effect).


While the boy mentioned above was reading and reporting to me that some of the words were moving on the page. I recognized it as a visual distortion / hallucination and I realized it was similar to a person who has a fear of heights.

I had worked with several height phobics who would feel sick even when they imagined looking from a high place. So I asked them, “When you are looking over that 5 story building balcony, what happens?”  They told me that everything sways, moves or shrinks down suddenly. Of course nothing is moving or swaying it’s just a visual distortion and that’s what was causing the sick feeling. It’s nothing to do with the height its the internal response of the person ie. the visual distortion.

With this kind of fear that has a visual distortion component I use an NLP technique called a swish pattern which re teaches the brain to have a different response and its a very common technique in NLP.

You have the person imagine looking over the edge and just as the image starts to distort you have them move another image in from the side which is completely still. This is repeated around 10 times or so to condition a new response. Now, when the person looks over the edge there is no visual distortion and therefore no sick feeling or fear of heights.

I simply tried the same thing with this boy, I used the NLP swish pattern to stop the reading distortions and it worked !! and its been working with 95% of ‘dyslexic readers’  I’ve seen over the last few years. See this method in detail in the below article.

CLICK HERE Correct Dyslexia reading distortions using the NLP Swish pattern.

This is something I am very proud of because as of this writing I don’t know of anyone else who is using this solution. The only method that attempts to provide a solution to dyslexia reading distortions that I have tried is the Davis Method. Ron Davis also talks about the brains confusion response but has a different way of stopping the distortions which has sometimes worked for my students.

If anybody out there knows of other solutions to reading distortions please let me know maybe I’m just out of  touch but all I hear are ‘neurological’ deficit explanations.


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Thank you for reading this article (Dyslexia Dubai – Solutions with NLP.) 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.

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