Note: this glossary contains words or phrases that you will find on our website or in our books.
Abstract words are words that cannot be turned into concrete images by the right brain and have little meaning for the dyslexic ("hope", "they", "constitution", "liberty",
This requires making changes in teaching methods, learning skills and applications that allow for the learning differences and periods of development of the right brain.
Assessing dyslexic traits
Assessing learning problems should be done as early as possible in the life of a dyslexic student. Understanding the student's dyslexic issues and what specific skills they can and cannot do will help lay out a program for correcting their problems in their school work.
The auditory senses hear and process the sounds including words.
This refers to the naturally produced chemicals in the brain that keep the body functioning correctly. Many different influences can cause an imbalance of these chemicals. Excess fear or stress for example, can produce enough Cortisol to prevent the creation of short term memory. It can also be effected by an excess of incoming ideas, piling up in short term memory and not getting processed.
Chemical imbalance of the brain
Can be caused by the stress and confusion that right-brained students endure in many learning situations. Confusion, loss of self-esteem, stress and fear cause the brain to produce excess Cortisol which neutralizes short term memory and the information is lost. In many cases it causes hyper-tension, hyper-sensitivity, hyperactivity, hyper-impulsivity, an inability to concentrate, along with a loss of focus, which prevents learning from taking place.
Cause and effect
Cause and effect is knowing about the Who or What? Where? When? Why? and Outcome or Solution to an intellectual concept in a story or a situation.
Comprehension is being able to understand what they see, read, hear, and experience. Above all it means being able to interpret what they read to complete school assignments.
Decoding words involves recognizing the individual letters in a word, what sounds in a word (phonemes) they represent, blending them together to sound out and identify the words.
Dominant learning sense
Refers to the strongest of the three main learning senses that the brain utilizes to learn. It is either auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Testing and determining their strongest sense can be beneficial for people whether they have dyslexic issues or not.
"Drawn" word images
These "whole images" are the printed form of words as the right-brained student sees and copies them.
Dyslexic anti-social behaviors
These are generally behaviors that accompany the problems of being dyslexic and not being able to learn according to left-brained teaching systems that are the standard in our American and Canadian schools.
When a student is unable to learn how to read, write and do arithmetic they start to feel frustrated, stressed, humiliated and suffer a loss of self-esteem. The teachers tend to criticize and judge their efforts and peers will ridicule them. The dyslexic student begins to act out against this treatment and will find many ways to protect and defend themselves. Examples of these behaviors are:
* they will often become loners or a class clown
* sometimes they wear clothes that are socially unacceptable and separates them from the other students such as wearing all black and heavy unusual make-up or odd hairstyles
* they can be rude, contrary and obnoxious with authority figures
* they can start to skip school as much as possible to avoid facing the teacher, students and problems with their schoolwork
* they can be disruptive in class
* they can become depressed and fearful about not fitting in and worrying what is going to become of them?
Dysgraphia is a lack of hand-eye coordination that may be causing poor handwriting. It refers to messages getting scrambled on route between the brain and the hand, making it difficult for the student to visualize what he wants to print and what he is printing.
To focus their thoughts a child with dyslexic issues must be taught how to concentrate on a limited number of thoughts in a proper sequence of presentation as opposed to going in too many directions and completing none.
The Kinesthetic sense is one of the three learning senses used by people when learning. This sense is often described as learning through a "hands-on approach", manipulating objects or learning to use the hands to assemble parts into whole objects.
Learning differences of the right and left brain
This refers to the many different ways the left and right hemispheres of the brain have of understanding and learning about the world. These differences involve talents, creativity, aptitudes, learning behaviors, use of letters and numbers, problems with the abstract and sequencing.
Learning strengths and weaknesses
We are referring to the dominance of one learning sense over the others. A student may be strongly visual, auditory or kinesthetic in their approach to learning.
Long term memory
Long term memory is processed in the neo-cortex of the brain. It is the area in which the brain stores information for use. Long term memory in a right brained individual can be created effectively when they process information in ways that a Dyslexic can understand such as overviews, whole concrete images and full complete instructions.
The right-brained and dyslexic thinker will most often have the ability to collect vast amounts of information on a topic, comprehend it on many analytical levels and then use it in a wide array of creative applications. The right-brained person is generally not satisfied until all possibilities are gathered and added to the "whole picture" and then utilized.
Multi-sensory learning occurs when a student is able to use all the senses working together whenlearning about a subject.
Negative brain energy
This negative energy is said to be produced in the brain when fear, frustration, anger and hypersensitivity pile up in the brain and are neither processed nor discarded, upsetting the chemical balance. Much of this negative energy is created by the anxiety and helpless aggression resulting from electronic gadgetry, games, movies and videos.
These are the neural paths created to move ideas and the language in the brain for thinking and analyzing, such as moving a concrete idea that has been changed into the language of the left brain for further processing.
Phonetics is the study of the sounds of spoken words and letters. Phonetic spelling is not traditional spelling and can be very misleading and usually inappropriate for the right-brained student.
Phonics is a method used to teach students to pronounce and read words by learning the phonetic sounds of letters, letter groups and syllables. It is based on learning phonemes.
Phonemes are the smallest units of speech that distinguish one spoken sound from another and are written as single letters or groups of letters that make one sound: ough, st, ow.
The right-brained learner can have a photographic memory and use it to help retain information in whole concrete mental images. This can be very useful for them as long as they understand the material and can then store it in long term memory. One of the problems with a photographic memory however is sometimes the image is remembered incorrectly and can create problems when trying to use it. An example of this is a dyslexic music student who is capable of watching the hands of a teacher or fellow student play a piece of music on an instrument like a piano and photographically memorize how it was played. They then can play it back exactly how they saw it except however if they miss one or more of the notes. The dyslexic student should be cautioned to not depend entirely on this ability.
This describes the many words a student must learn and memorize at every individual grade level. Students can only read at grade level if they have memorized and decoded sufficient vocabulary to cover the level of reading difficulty of a given grade.
Sequencing letters, words, numbers
Sequencing means putting the parts in order. It the student cannot distinguish the parts within the whole image, then he or she cannot spell in sequence, use words in sequence, learn and use numbers in sequence or follow step by step directions.
Short term memory
This type of memory is processed in the area in the brain called the Hippocampus and Amygdala which lie deep inside the brain. Information first enters these areas and is sorted out for retaining or discarding.
Spatial control is often lacking in young right-brained students as they see wholes from all directions. To gain control of the space on a sheet of paper, they must be taught how to use the printed lines and work from top to bottom and from left to right. They must also be shown how to number their answers.
Tracking lines of print
This can often be a problem for students. It refers to reading a line of print from left to right. Because these students see in wholes, they can read from all directions, so they must be forced to read from left to right by using a guiding device such as a ruler or some form such as underlining or high-lighting to keep their eyes focused and moving forward.
This refers to words written backwards, letters formed poorly, incorrect letters used to spell words, a confusion of similarly shaped letters and distortion of letters when copying them. For more details, please refer to Hand Printing and Cursive Writing, Chapter Two in How the Right Brain Learns
Verbal or Language Arts skills
These are the various language arts skills used to communicate ideas orally, visually, and kinesthetically. They include printing letters and words, spelling words, reading, composing sentences, organizing ideas into paragraphs and essays, and all other forms of written and spoken communication. Hand Printing and Cursive Writing, Chapter Two in How the Right Brain Learns
Whole concrete images
The right-brain stores information only if it is understood and presented in the form of a whole concrete visual image. This means that learning with a right-brain learning style is reality based as it thinks in pictures and has difficulty understanding abstract words, letters, numbers, ideas or thoughts unless they are represented by concrete images.