Sydney Dyslexia

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Context Blindness and Concepts of Life

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Although Context Blindness is rarely associated with Dyslexia, I have found quite a few children, who present not only with Dyslexia, but also with some of the symptoms and sensitivities of Autism. There is no reason to assign them yet another label, but instead use some of these interesting correction pathways to add to their box of tools.

Some children are more ADHD or ADD than typically dyslexic, in which case their fast processing rate and auditory processing difficulties caused them to miss out on basic life concepts. That causes problems at school, sometimes in Maths too (as these are the pillars for Maths as well) and often behavioural issues. Context Blindness may or may not be one of their challenges. However, the concepts are the same and always add great value and clarity.

Caetextia (Latin for ‘context blindness’) is mainly associated with Autism or Asperger Syndrome. Its proper definition: ‘context blindness’, a chronic disorder manifesting in the inability to adjust behaviours or perception to deal appropriately with interacting variables.

Context blindness can involve different aspects of life and learning. It may be related to physical perception of self and others, to changes, to the environment, to social interactions, perceptions of reality, to taking words literally, to making different judgments for different situations and many other examples where matters can be taken out of context.

It would be incredibly labor-some and downright impossible to ‘correct’ every possible situation that an Autistic individual could get themselves into, where they might encounter a mistake in context.  There is a much easier way and that involves going to the root cause of these misjudgments and challenges.

Ron Davis (himself Autistic and Dyslexic) has found a simple step-by-step program where basic concepts which are mastered in the proper order, can eliminate the effects of Caetextia.

Some examples on how these concepts are directly linked or responsible for these misconceptions:

1. Self: The Concept of ‘the Individual’. For Dyslexia: Most dyslexic children do not know the difference between “I” and “me” and creating self with all its current wisdom, knowledge and understanding. For Autism: An  example of context blindness and Self: John, a bright Asperger man, only ever combed his hair at the front, he had no awareness that there was a back of his head. Seeing things from different angles is one difficulty for context blind individuals. By creating and mastering ‘Self’ in clay, in all aspects of ‘Self’ as a body, a mind and a lifeforce, there is suddenly a 3D picture, an awareness of more than the mirror shows and these ideas are revisited in life situations from all angles until there is certainty around the ‘I’ (the person who is speaking) and the ‘me’ the self that is being interacted with. Not only does John now feel, touch and see the back of his head (on a model of himself, for example), but also every other context that is related to bodily functions.

2. Change: The concept of ‘something becoming something else’ is a huge one for some Dyslexic and most Autistic individuals. It first entertains the idea that time has to be involved, in order to have a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ event. By creating a scenario in clay, where one action is the ’cause’ and the second model is the ‘effect’ of that cause, we open a case of possibilities. Both models are separated by an arrow. (the arrow shows the ‘becoming’, the changing). Many AS children (and adults) see the effect, but living very much in the present moment, they often cannot relate that outcome to something previous. What has caused this?    Mary for example sees her mum crying. (effect). She has only once seen her mum in tears and that was when her grandfather had died. Not knowing why her mother cries this time (cause), she assumes that somebody must have died. But her mum had been cutting onions and that cause was hard to accept for Mary. She also was not aware that somebody can be crying because they are happy or frustrated.

Naturally, the concepts of ‘consequence‘ and ‘time‘ follow afterwards and deepen the experience even further. Over thirty concepts build a very solid foundation for any individual to navigate life with much more clarity and certainty. I have been using the basic six concepts for many dyslexic children as well, as they are often misunderstood or missing.

In the Book ‘Autism and the Seeds of Change’ by Abigail Marshall and Ronald Davis, all concepts are described in detail. Autism and the Seed of Change


Author: Barbara Hoi

I am working with Dyslexic and Asperger geniuses and have opened a centre to expand Sydney Dyslexia to another location right on the beach at the Entrance North. I have written two books on Dyslexia ('the Right Brain for the Right Time' and 'Nurturing the Secret Garden') as I believe these children and adults have a great gift and the ability to become leaders in their field.

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