Dr Stanislas Dehaene is a leading dyslexia researcher. In his book “Reading and the Brain” Dr Dehaene states: “While a majority of (dyslexic) children predominantly suffer from phonological deficits, the difficulty in others stems from another source, perhaps the automatization of the links between vision and language. In the next chapter I will focus on vision and attempt to unravel why so many children tend to confuse mirror letters such p and q.”
Dr Dehaene continues “In everyday language, a dyslexic is someone who confuses left and right and makes mirror errors in reading. Symmetry perception plays a significant role in reading , but left-right confusions are not unique to dyslexics. Early in life virtually all children make mirror errors in reading and writing. Indeed the ability to generalize across symmetrical views, which facilitates view-variant object recognition, is one of the essential competencies of the visual system. When children learn to read, they must “unlearn” mirror generalization in order to process “b” and “d” as distinct letters. In some children, this unlearning process, which goes against the spontaneous abilities inherited from evolution seems to present a specific source of impairment”
~ Dr Stanislas Dehaene, Reading In The Brain, The New Science Of How We Read, Penguin Books, pg 263
The following is data from one of our students. This a non-reading grade 2 from Ohio.
In this exercise the student hears the target sound (all double phonemes) , and is presented with three choices. The student needs to choose the correct answer. Notice that 4 of the 5 errors are all mirror image generalization mistakes. Interestingly, she had no problem mastering the phonemic awareness and phonological exercises. She is unable to read because of these mirror image mistakes. The good news is that with our short, but frequent targeted training, she will overcome this deficit and become an at grade level reader.