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Dyslexia | Word Blindness

Dr. Stephen Phinney

I will never forget the day when I was told I had ‘word blindness,’ what people call dyslexia today. I was well into my adult years when I was told. On the one hand, I was relieved; on the other hand, it dug up years of resentment.

For those who are new to the term, dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects brain areas that process language while blocking the ability to replicate viewed content onto paper or typed documents.

People with dyslexia frequently have average to higher intellect. Although, most are labeled mentally challenged. As in my case, being labeled borderline mentally retarded in high school. Typically, they see letters backward or not at all, and this results in difficulty seeing similarities and differences in letters and words. It is the leading reason people with dyslexia avoid reading. Thus, they are poor spellers and have difficulty with the ability to learn and maintain grammar rules. As for public speaking, well, they avoid this like the plague.

Fear typically dominates their life.

Do you remember when God called Moses to speak to Pharaoh and His people? Do you remember what Moses said to God in his reply? I do, and it stays with me every day, particularly when God had asked me to write as a part of our ministry.

Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)

The Lord was not content with Moses’s response. While I used similar excuses throughout my life, God never settles with our excuses, and God laid it out for Moses in a clear and specific way.

The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:11)