Dyslexia and NDD

To find out what NDD means read the section “Neuro-Developmental Delay (NDD)”.

Dyslexia simply means difficulty with word recognition. Some people interpret this only as a reading difficulty, whereas for others it also includes spelling and verbal difficulties. Some perceive dyslexia as a difficulty with recognising and understanding all of the symbols we affix to things; implying therefore a difficulty with maths, maps and directional signs. However, for others, dyslexia is a much wider more complex difficulty involving balance and co-ordination.

It is easy to see, from the section entitled “Primitive Reflexes”, the relationship NDD has with dyslexia.

More specifically a retained ATNR will prevent proper tracking or eye pursuit skills, it will also prevent the ability to make the advance and regressive eye movements, known as saccades, absolutely essential for reading. People with a retained ATNR may be able to read the first part of the page, but not cross the midline to read the right hand side, or they may move their head to follow the line instead of their eyes. They may read all but tire very quickly or only be able to read the first few lines or paragraphs. The ATNR may also prevent the two eyes from working in unison, resulting in blurred or a double image. Children rarely report these experiences as they have always experienced them and do not appreciate that they are not normal. Parents and teachers who will not appreciated the discrepant image cannot understand that the child is not seeing what they perceive or what is explained.

The retained ATNR will prevent proper development of the connections between the two halves of the brain, so that neither dominance nor specialisation can develop to it’s potential. The connection between the two halves of the brain, called the corpus collosum, does not naturally mature until aged 6.5 – 7.5; this is the reason why letter and number reversals are common until this age and are not considered to be symptoms of dyslexia until after the age of 8. Poor corpus collosum development retains the preference for right brained skills to the detriment of left brained sequential skills, resulting in many of the difficulties for those with dyslexia. These include poor: memory, spelling, learning tables, and sense of direction. Poor dominance will delay recognition of left and right, including my left, my right, adding to the poor sense of direction and sometimes leading to the child approaching lines of text or numbers from the wrong side also causing difficulties in PE and games. The language decoding centre is in the left brain so that the ATNR can inhibit the development of all language based skills, reading, writing, spelling and for some speech. The ATNR is stimulated from the vestibular system, which inevitably means that this system will be under-developed resulting in poor balance and co-ordination. The ATNR also has a major impact upon hand control and hand eye co-ordination. Writing, ball skills, dressing and eating may all be effected.

A retained TLR will increase the problem by adding a spatial orientation difficulty, resulting in confusion of distance related to in front and behind. This augments any previously existing poor sense of direction. It also causes clumsiness, poor ability to lay things out in order, spatially and directionally; the three dimensional image being a difficult concept. Reversal is also a difficult concept for those with a retained TLR, so that certain mathematical concepts will be hard to grasp, mirror imaging difficult and as all social interaction involves a certain degree of mirror imaging these skills will be handicapped too. To develop an identity of me, I need to know where I begin and end, where others begin and end. Poor spatial orientation will deflect from the development of these skills, resulting in a poor self image together with a poor concept of others; this frequently results in an invasion of others personal space. Under developed convergence of the eyes may result in poor near vision compounding any pre-existing reading difficulty. The experience of feeling different, reacting differently, learning differently, together with possible deficiencies in vital nutrients and immune response – resulting in frequent absences from school and potential allergies, can easily explain why frustration and anger frequently explode.

Although some children are diagnosed as dyslexic it rarely exists in isolation, many also have classical symptoms of dyspraxia and ADD; just as many with dyspraxia have symptoms of dyslexia. For this reason I suggest that any parent who has a child with dyslexia reads the sections on: “Dyspraxia and NDD” and “ADD/ADHD and NDD”.

Dyslexic children, especially if they have symptoms of dyspraxia, are readily identifiable as different from other children; for this reason they are frequently teased, bullied, and isolated. The retained Primitive Reflexes and underdeveloped Postural Reflexes not only make rapid adjustments in physical skills difficult, they also impact rapid mental agility. They do not appear street wise, have poor mechanisms to defend themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. For all of these reasons they can frequently be very distressed and unhappy children as they both recognise and are recognised for their difference.