Shouldn’t dyslexia assessments include mental imagery

7.keep-pictures-still-smallEvery child we have met, who is diagnosed as Dyslexic, isn’t visualising words. in fact, children who aren’t visualising words will most likely be diagnosed dyslexic.

Why? Because you can’t be a fluent reader without developing the skill to perform word recognition, which needs you to have mental images of words, especially in English.

A recent survey of a year 7 class told us that, in the student’s opinion:

  • 28% were poor at spelling, 12% poor at reading, 31% poor at numeracy.
  • Of those who were poor at reading, 31% were not visualising words, 100% were creative and 46% didn’t remember what they read
  • Of those who were poor at spelling, 48% also had bad handwriting, 48% were not visualising words in English, 24% couldn’t keep the words still
  • Of the good spellers, 84% pictured words, 15% were not sure – they were probably so good it was not a conscious skill.

This creates a nightmare for understanding their secondary education. These figures say to me it is a “no brainer”; let’s teach children this simple skill when they are 3-6 years old and see whether the high-level of literacy challenges can be reversed.

So let’s look at this the other way around. The quick way to discover if someone has dyslexic symptoms is to check if they have mental images of words. If they don’t have mental images of words this is a dyslexic symptom so teach this skill and then see if they really are dyslexic.

To learn more do take a look at:  The Elephants In The Classroom; uncovering every students’ natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning £14.95. Available on Amazon at

or view  where you will see other resources too.

#dyslexia #dyslexic #english # empoweringlearning #visualising #wordrecognition #fluentreading

About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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