Dyslexia is perhaps one of the most misunderstood definitions of learning disability that exists. Many area teachers, special education teachers, and educational clinicians have very different understandings of what the definition for dyslexia entails, which often results in the word not being used in describing learning disabilities. Since the inception of the term dyslexia, there are now more than 70 names to describe dyslexia's various aspects. A new perspective in defining dyslexia has arisen and sheds light on this often misunderstood condition.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
In 1982 the term Visual-Spatial was coined by Dr. Linda Silverman to describe a specific learning style which is often not addressed in the traditional American classroom. Her research shows that children with this learning style think primarily in pictures, not words. These learners also tend to have difficulty with verbal-sequential tasks. Since all of the visual-spatial traits are also exhibited in the dyslexic, it is probable that dyslexia is a subset of the visual-spatial learning style.
During the same year (1982) an important new perspective of dyslexia was emerging from the Reading Research Council established by Ronald D. Davis, author of The Gift of Dyslexia. Mr. Davis himself experienced severe reading difficulties as a result of dyslexia. He also understood picture thinking and the influence that it had over reading acquisition. Mr. Davis was also able to identify disorientation (perception and reality do not agree), as the basis of the perceptual issues that dyslexics experience.