Berlin himself had been influenced by the writings of another German, Adolph Kussmaul, a Professor of Medicine at Strassburg. It was Kussmaul who first identified the kind of difficulties Berlin described in 1877, entitling them Wortblindheit (word-blindness). Berlin then coined the word dyslexia (meaning "difficulty with words) to bring the diagnosis in line with contemporary international medical literature....
*Dr. Dale R. Jordan, in his ground-breaking book Dyslexia in the Classroom, goes on to say that "most visual dyslexics see certain letters backward and upside down.... Not only do they perceive individual letters incorrectly, but they also see parts of words in reverse. ... children with visual dyslexia do not master language symbols, and they do not perceive left to right and top to bottom."
Dr. Jordan later mentions that "occasionally totally inverted perception is seen by clinicians. Such individuals read exactly upside down, perceiving symbols at 180 degrees rotation from "normal". Because these students are usually capable readers , their upside-down orientation is not often discovered in the classroom."
In 1999, my first year in public education, I encountered my first "upside down" reader. Not having discovered Dr. Jordan's book, and being unable to find other information about upside down reading, I believed this boy was "one-in-a-million". Never did I imagine that, 9 years later I would have two Print Inverted boys in my 1st grade class! Then, the following year, I had FIVE UPSIDE DOWN READERS in one class. Luckily, I found Dr. Jordan's book and began video-taping my work.....
*Jordan, Dale R. "Dyslexia in the Classroom". Charles E Merrill Publishing Co., 1970.
NOTE The e-book version of Dyslexia in the Classroom is now available for Kindle on Amazon:
Jacob was diagnosed dyslexic, dysgraphic and unable to spell by the specialists at his Connecticut public school. I believe this video was shot the first time we got together in February, 2012. In it he explains how he has known since 2nd grade that he's an upside-down reader, but felt that he could not tell his teacher or parents.
Jacob came to New Hope Academy with a problem - actually several problems... He could not read above a 2nd grade level. He could not physically write (as in, they said he couldn't hold a pencil) He supposedly could not spell. He hated school. He was bullied. He chewed his fingers until they bled simply due to the anxiety of attending school. His mom was determined to find out what was "going on" because she absolutely knew that her son was not dumb at all - he was very, very smart! So she was dragging him from doctor to doctor - school to school - until she found the answer.
This is the real thing.... No editing and no "re-takes". This boy reads and writes upside down. The public school system diagnosed him with DYSLEXIA and pretty much gave up on him. They said he was unable to read on a first grade level, unable to write at all and unable to spell the most basic words. After a few weeks of tutoring he is reading on level (upside down) and scoring 100% on his spelling tests -also upside down. And he is a much happier boy....
Seventy-four year old Mary Frappier found out about our work from a colleague and has decided to come forward and share her childhood story - she was a PI kid! Mary went on to college and became a reading teacher.
I still get choked up listening to this story. There are literally thousands more out there just as sad - or worse. At least Mary found a way to fulfill her dreams and contribute to society...
This site is offered as a public service. We are not "selling" you anything and your email address and phone number will not be shared.