Word Mastery: As

Image from Christina Tan

Dyslexia is an alternative way of thinking and learning. Dyslexics have a preference for using pictures or images in their thought process rather than words. This allows them to view the world from many different perspectives and in creative ways.

As picture thinkers, dyslexics easily become confused by things that do not make sense to their non-verbal, picture thinking style. They have fewer issues with words whose meaning they can picture, such as “dog”, “rainbow”, “dinosaur” but they often make mistakes with words like “as”, “so”, “just” in their reading.

To give an example, a client I worked with could read and spell the word “as”, but she didn’t understand the meaning. Hence when constructing a sentence, she used the word incorrectly. To be able to master the word, she needed to create all 3 parts of the word – the meaning, the spelling and the pronunciation.

One of the more commonly used meanings for the word “as” is “at the same time“. My client captured the concept of that meaning by modeling a clown and an elephant, each balancing on a ball at the same time, As the elephant balances on the ball, the clown does the same.” To her, that clay model embodies her understanding of what “as” means. Once she has a way to think with a picture of the meaning of that word, the word doesn’t confuse her anymore.