Dyslexia – How this hypnotherapist ticks

One of my all time favourite bands is Black Sabbath so when the former lead singer Ozzy Osbourne wrote his autobiography “I am Ozzy” it was a must have book for me.

Since it is approaching Christmas I have decided to take a break from reading Hypnosis books and I am therefore reading Ozzy’s book.

The hypnotherapist in me is clearly still very much at work however. I have just read the following:

“The only good thing about having dyslexia is that dyslexics are usually very creative people, or so I have been told. We think in unusual ways. But it is a very bad stigma to have, not being able to read like normal people can. To this day I wish I’d had a proper education. I think books are great, I do. To be able to lose yourself in a book is ****ing phenomenal. Everyone should be able to do it. But I’ve been able to get through an entire book only a few times in my life. Every blue moon this thing in my head will release and I’ll try and read as many books as I can, because when it closes up it goes straight back to the way it was, and I end up just sitting there, staring at Chinese.”

This is a great little section. If Ozzy was a client in front of me I would be strongly convinced I would be able to help Ozzy with his Dyslexia.

One of the first things a dyslexic needs to know is they can in fact spell. As any one reading this site will know I am not the best speller in the world. When I get stuck for a word I will use my visual memory and try and read it. To access my visual memory it helps to look up and for most people to their left. For a few it will be up and to their right. If I am lucky and can see the word I can then spell it backwards and forewords. When if I just try to spell it I would normally just get lost and give up.

Being able to spell backwards a word that a dyslexic could not normally spell forwards is incredibly powerful to them and this opens up many possibilities for future improvements.

There was a significant event in my spelling career. My English teacher gave us a test of 100 words people commonly misspell. I got 3 right. We had to learn them all for the next day. I did and I got 98 right. A few weeks later the test was given again (as I write this I wonder what the purpose was but I guess I am looking at it through my negative perspective). I was back down to only 50 or so correct answers. I was gutted. I decided spelling for like moving water with a sieve and that my energies were better focused elsewhere. I also decided I was a poor speller and gave up.

It is only when I recently had reason to take an Adult learning English test that I realised I am clearly not as bad as I thought. I just compare myself to the best spellers in the world and my family who can all spell. I can probably spell better than 70% of the population. That was a big lesson for me. Learning the visualisation trick has also improved me to.

What really interested me in the piece above is that Ozzy has discovered he can sometimes read better than others. This is great news to a hypnotherapist because it allows us to work on increasing the time that the reading is OK and reducing the amount of time the reading is poor. We also know the unconscious mind knows how to read well. It is just a case of helping it achieve more of that goal.

We are also interested in checking out times when it has been good and times when we have expected it to be good but it wasn’t. Equally there will be times when it was bad and times when we expected it to be bad and discovered it wasn’t.

I would be interested in finding out what type of books Ozzy got through and how many he failed to read and whether he could read short stories and magazine articles. There is so much scope for movement just from this little section of text.

The very first sentence is also a good one. Ozzy sounds like he does not really buy into dyslexics being more creative. I would be interested in if this was a general pattern in his belief systems and looking to expand his ideas of creativity.

Wanting to “read like a normal can” is of course understandable but I wonder how many normal people don’t read well. I for one am a very slow reader. I used to manage about 20 pages an hour at school and it was very frustrating when the English teacher used to find out how far the fastest reader had got in an hour and then double the number of pages read. It often meant I had 80 pages of reading before the next lesson. In my teenage years this clearly still bothered me as I bought speed reading courses. These didn’t meet my needs however as they wanted me to miss words and so I have settled for being a reader that enjoys reading each written word in a book in my own time. It is not an area I have chosen to work on as yet but who knows what will happen as I get older ….

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