I feel cheated. I feel robbed. I feel like those entrusted with my education did not trust my intellect. I feel like a major part of my world, which is my language, was taken from me and I was not permitted to fully understand it because someone decided that it wasn’t important for me to understand or study. And I know for a fact that, in public schools, this robbery is still going on because my own son is being robbed. It wasn’t until I was about 41 years old that someone showed me, in a matter of minutes, what I had been denied and that was how English is really organized, and yes, it is organized.
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Why do we confuse b, d, p and q anyway? Most of us know that this is a normal part of learning to read. Anyone who has watched a preschooler learn to read has seen him or her wonder out loud if that is a b or d they are trying to read. We have also seen this same preschooler become a first grader and figure it out after awhile when they just ‘get it.’ And then there are those who continue to mix up these letters past 2nd grade, when it becomes a red flag. The interesting, and often not answered very well, question is: why? Stanislaus Dehaene, the author of Reading in the Brain, does a great job of explaining in this in an chapter in Dyslexia Across Languages. I am going to do my best to paraphrase because I think it is important to understand how the brain has adapted to fit reading in to a space that was originally meant for other skills.