Emotions and their effect on dyslexics & hyperlexics

You have come upon a blog discussing tools to help dyslexics and hyperlexics.  The topic, this time, is emotion.

When I was first diagnosed as dyslexic (age 45) I was told there were no solutions to help me. The reason: I could sound out works, read words and had a good vocabulary — the usual definition of a dyslexic. Yet, the test pigeonholed me as a dyslexic.

What to do? I kept asking and two years later I was given two invaluable pieces of advice:

1.   Give up eating foods with refined sugar. The reason:  stop the inner rushing in my body. I followed the advice and a year later the rushing stopped almost entirely. This correction made me ready to move to the second piece of advice.

2.   Work with a therapist to discover within myself emotional issues that were unresolved. At first I wondered, is this really necessary? But going off refined sugar had improved my ability to be quiet within and more willing to pick up a book. So, perhaps clearing pesky emotions was worth exploring.

My therapist was brilliant.  Her intuition told her I was masking anger. It took me some time to find it, but find it I did. As I released my hold to past anger I discovered many things about reading:

  • my buried disruptive emotions stopped me from wanting to read and reading
  • when reading a book with characters who had emotional issues that resonated with me, I would not continue reading the book.  When I discovered this behavior I taught myself to stop reading. I defined  where the emotion being expressed in the book was existent in my life and then processed it.  By processing, I mean delving into the issue, seeing where I was the victim or the perpetrator and then discovering how to forgive myself and others. The change doesn’t happen quickly but eventually positive results emerge. When done, I went back to the book and continued reading until another emotion stopped me.  It took me about a year using this discipline to move out of this “stopping reading behavior” caused by buried emotions that needed attention.

What I now understand is that my feelings were hidden, or not accepted as real by me or others.  They were churning about within, an explosive energy. No longer were they simply a feeling.

My technique as a child and adult was to bury my dark feelings. Feelings left unexpressed build up. They took up space inside me. They tried to get my attention by “preventing” me from being able and/or willing to read. I didn’t realize they wanted attention.  I can see now that my emotions are my reactions to my feelings I was choosing to avoid.

Years later I was re-diagnosed as hyperlexic:  meaning I could read words fine, but comprehension was the problem. If I hadn’t done the emotional homework I know that my work of correcting the hyperlexia would have been much more difficult, if not impossible.


If you have topics that you would like me to address about my experience in overcoming dyslexia and hyperlexia feel free to send your ideas through the comments below.


Information on this blog is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your own physician or health care professional


  1. Lora Aspiotis on February 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

    OH Ann, your words brought tears to my eyes! Not only about my autistic son who is hyperlexic but about the emotions within me and my past that haunts me. Your words ring true and resonate with me. I am following your instruction because who better to listen to than one who has been through it? I want to do what is best for my son, he has the hardest time completing his work and is constantly distracted and I feel so bad for him. Do you think that the method, the second method that you mentioned in your website, would work for an 8 year old? He definitely has ADHD symptoms and Bipolar symptoms which fall under the auspices of autism spectrum so I am wondering if he would be able to focus on it….what do you think? I am desperate to help him because school is such a struggle for him. He is high functioning and in a mainstream classroom but he needs a great deal of help in class and especially with homework! PLEASE HELP! It is such a blessing that you found my blog and left a comment there for me…I cannot thank you enough! You can e-mail me or leave another comment on the blog, either way it will end up in my inbox. Thank you a million times over Ann!!!!

  2. Lora Aspiotis on February 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I am publishing your blog address on my facebook pages and will also publish it on my blog so that you will get more traffic and can help more and more people. You are such a blessing!

  3. Ann Farris on February 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I encourage to explore the Masgutova Method. I am not a counsellor so I can’t assesyour child’s particular situation but I do suggest you research with a specialist. http://www.masgutovamethod.com. And, on my blog, there is a category: Children with Challenges. This topic gives you a description and a link to a support group of parents and therapists working with the Masgutova Method.

  4. Ann Farris on February 8, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I also suggest that you read the article I have posted on my website: http://www.dyslexiadiscovery.com. It outlines the process in considerable detail that I used to help myself master the disquieting and mechanical issues of both dyslexia and hyperlexia. To me, they are a challenge beyond just reading and comprehending reading. And, now that I understand so much about myself and these conditions I feel blessed about the entire experience.

  5. Reem on September 9, 2010 at 6:31 am

    I found your article and comments on it very interesting. I’m just starting to explore this topic as my daughter is having a hard time in school. She just started grade 2 and last night when my husband tried to get her to finish some work she started in school (writing numbers from 1 to 50) she got very stressed and ended up writing them backwords (so instead of 30, 03) and so on, sometimes also flipping the number itself to its mirror image. I’m not sure if this qualifies as dyslexia, but she seems to have other symptoms also (like difficulty with time, counting on fingers and seeming “clumsy”). I’m not sure what I need to do, but it seems that when she gets emotional/stressed she does even worse. Needless to say, I’m worried about her. Any suggestions?

  6. Ann Farris on January 13, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hello Reem: I am sorry to be so long to get back to you. I am still learning how to use all the technology involved with a blog. So, it was only today that I found your comment. I encourage you to find a professional resource who is trained in assessing children for learning challenges. Grade 2 is the perfect age to start exploring. You might ask at the school for testing. Sometimes you have to be quite firm about your intention of achieving the oppportunity for your child to be tested. And, you might see if there is a Lindamood-Bell office in your city. They do excellent testing. And, please feel free to comment again. Now I know where the comments come I will be more diligent in finding them and responding.

  7. Ann Farris on January 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Reem. I was just looking at a blog I posted some time ago and thought the information might be useful in helping you be more knowledgable about the challenges your child might be experiencing. When you have a moment take a look at my blog titled: Disconnected Kids by Robert Melillo. Good luck

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