What Do Dyslexic People See? These 7 Things!

what do dyslexic people see

A study by The Yale Center For Dyslexia & Creativity states that – “…on average it affects 20% of the population and is the most common of all the neuro-cognitive disorders. It represents 80-90% of people with learning difficulties…” This establishes the core issue with dyslexia – an unexpected reading difficulty despite normal intellect and vision. So, what do dyslexic people see? We will tell you about it in this post. 

This post will also highlight the correct way to evaluate your child and consult a specialist. We will also give you a list of ways by which you can assist them to live a better life. For those who have queries, we will answer those in this blog. 

How and what do dyslexic people see? 

Dyslexic kids mostly see inverted words or letters moving (as if). Also, rather than focusing on words, in particular, they tend to use their energy to perceive the pictures. Therefore, it is common for a dyslexic kid to see ‘d’ as ‘p’ or even ‘q’. 

Let us give you a sneak peek into the dyslexic kid’s vision range – 

1. Jumping/Moving of words 

what do dyslexics see
Image Credit: The Struggle Bus: Room 125

Consistent moving of words and non-linear presentation of sentences are a regular affair for dyslexic kids. For them, a straight line does not seem like one, and it is constantly moving. Also, the words jump from one line to another, thereby forming a non-symmetrical train of sentences. So, for them, the set of words is constantly in motion, moving up and down. 

2. An inverted or backward written letter

dyslexics see backwards
Image Credit: Rapid City Dyslexia Care

For those wondering what do dyslexic people see and if they truly find normal letters in an inverted state, then the answer is yes! They do! Unlike their peers or those with normal vision, the dyslexic child sees almost all the letters are written in an inverted manner. So, for them, the letters are placed in the opposite direction of the standard writing format.  

3. A problem in differentiating similar letters 

dyslexic people reading disability
Image Credit: ADDitude

Apart from inverted alphabets, the other persistent problem is – differentiating similar letters. Dyslexic people are unable to make a difference when it comes to letters. For them, ‘d’ ‘p’ ‘b’ and ‘q’ are similar. In fact, certain cases of dyslexia are so severe that they cannot understand that – ‘c’ ‘o’ or ‘e’ are different letters. Naturally, their distorted vision leads them to fall behind in academics or other activities, leading to anxiety at times.  

4. Creating optical illusion

what do dyslexics see
Image Credit: Adweek

Another answer that people get when they ask what do dyslexic people see is – an optical illusion-like form in place of the text. This implies that dyslexic people, rather than seeing the words in the linear mode, tend to see them as backward moving. For them, the letters are more like inverted texts that are hazy, mixed up, and floating. What happens is the brain cannot see the ‘real’ words, and this leads it to portray the words as illusory. 

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5. Cannot connect sounds accordingly 

phonetic disability in dyslexic kids
Image Credit: Gemm Learning

It is not just what do dyslexic people see that matters. It is also their hearing capacities that matter. They are not able to symmetrically connect the words with the sound (lack of phonetic knowledge). Even if they do connect the word with the sound, more often than not, they forget it quite soon. Hence, they must start from the beginning, putting them behind their peers. 

6. Tend to see jumbled or backward words 

what do dyslexic people see
Image Credit: College of Optometrists in Vision Development

Dyslexic kids not only tend to see individual letters written backwards. They tend to see words jumbling up or being written backwards. While writing, the words may seem normal, but reading may look jumbled up. 

Therefore, ‘bird’ may seem to be ‘drib’ – while ‘pen’ looks like ‘nep.’ There have been multiple cases wherein kids, while reading these words, have had a headache

7. Fading texts 

what dyslexics see
Image Credit: Quora

The last of the numerous visual issues include – fading away of the text. So, for those of you who ask, what do dyslexic people see, at times, they just see the text before them fading. It might either seem washed, or part of it may seem like it is buried. 


For the record, not every dyslexic kid suffers from visual distortion. Some may have a fine vision but have an issue with phonology (problems in understanding the speech sounds). This is another common trait that is found but mostly ignored. Hence, be cautious of the same. 

These are some of the common visual distortions that people affected by dyslexia face. How do you go about it? We will discuss the way out. 

How will you evaluate your child? 

what do dyslexic people see in text
Image Credit: Everyday Health

As a parent, it is not the easiest thing to detect dyslexia. In most cases, research shows that – late detection of dyslexia is associated with parents/teachers attributing the ‘key features of dyslexia’ to ‘normal’ activities of a ‘naughty kid.’ 

However, when your child’s reading intelligence does not meet the standard expectations, it is time to go for a preliminary evaluation. You can either conduct the evaluation at home or request the school administration for it. 

The evaluation will give you a fair idea of what do dyslexic people see. If and when you find the reports stating the issues mentioned above (optical illusion, backward words, phonological problems, and others), then you know the problem. 

When to consult a specialist? 

It is time for a formal evaluation when you find certain ‘notable points’ in that school evaluation. Connect with either a neuropsychologist, a speech therapy expert, or a reading specialist for further diagnosis. For the record, the earlier the intervention, the better it is for your child’s future. So, the moment you can figure out this gap between the child’s reading skills and intelligence, it is time for professional intervention. 

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How will you help a dyslexic kid? 

what do dyslexic people see
Image Credit: ADDitude

You have seen for yourself how and what do dyslexic people see in the section mentioned above. Also, you have both personally and professionally evaluated your child. Know for a fact that a dyslexia diagnosis does not mean that your child will never learn to read. But, surely, the progress will be slow. This will socially and emotionally impact the kid. How will you deal with that? Here are some tips – 

  • Follow a different education format for them. Their brain capacity is not suited for the standard education format. There are multiple study formats like – the Wilson Method, the Lindamood-Bell Education Programme, and the Orton-Gillingham Approach. 
  • Give them more time and space to cope compared to their peers. 
  • Don’t objectify them. Rather, look out for ways individually to accommodate them into the fold. Negative talk is extremely harmful to them. 
  • Lastly, emotional support matters the most. Dyslexic kids have been found to have self-esteem issues and are subjected to bullying more than often. In those times, you must stand up to support them and try to accommodate them into the fold. 

Concluding words 

Assuming you have read this post, you are now better aware of what do dyslexic people see and the various ways by which you can assist them develop. As a mature individual or a parent, you must make them comfortable in this competitive world when they tend to fall back a little. We hope the tips provided here will assist you in dealing with them sensitively and prepare an accommodating future for them. 

In the following section, we have tried answering some of the most asked queries. If you liked this post, then keep following this page for more exciting content! 


1. Can people with dyslexia learn to read? 

Absolutely. The only issue that will remain for a considerable period is – whereas their peers will be ‘fluent’ in terms of learning, they will at most be ‘manual’ readers. However, with constant and consistent therapy, this issue can be resolved. 

2. Do dyslexic kids perform well in school? 

You will be surprised to know that dyslexic kids are extremely hardworking and remain motivated. There is evidence that when detected at an early age and after receiving therapy, dyslexic kids have performed very well academically. 

3. What are dyslexics good at? 

There are multiple things that people with dyslexia are good at. If we talk of the celeb list – from Leonardo Da Vinci to Tom Cruise to Keira Knightley to Walt Disney to Pablo Picasso all of them suffered from dyslexia. But that did not stop them from excelling in their respective fields. 

4. Are there clues to dyslexia before a child starts school? 

Some research states that – certain clues may appear before a child starts school. Features like delayed speech and lack of reaction to rhyming words are considered clues. But it is only when a child enters school that this cognitive disorder can be categorically diagnosed. 

5. Einstein was dyslexic. Myth or truth? 

The most influential physicist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, indeed had dyslexia. Though he didn’t have problems with science and math, his spelling and grammatical skills were very poor. This is an example of the fact that dyslexic individuals can turn out to be extremely intelligent. 


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