Dyslexia Types: Dysphonetic or Dyseidetic


What is the difference between dysphonetic and dyseidetic dyslexia?


The terms ‘dysphonetic’ and ‘dyseidetic’ are words used to describe typical symptoms of dyslexia. The person labeled ‘dysphonetic’ has difficulty connecting sounds to symbols, and might have a hard time sounding out words, and spelling mistakes would show a very poor grasp of phonics. This is also sometimes called “auditory” dyslexia, because it relates to the way the person processes the sounds of language.

The ‘dyseidetic’ individual, on the other hand, generally has a good grasp of phonetic concepts, but great difficulty with whole word recognition and spelling. This type of dyslexia may also be labeled as “surface,” “visual,” or “orthographic.”

Typically, the dyseidetic person will spell in a way that words can  be easily deciphered phonetically, but which may be very far from being correct. For example, the word ‘phonics’ might be spelled ‘foniks.’ It is also common to see transpositions and even sometimes complete reversals in spelling (such as the word ‘need’ being written ‘deen’) – but the letters that correspond to the right sounds are all there.

Most remedial programs tend to emphasize phonics. This will help the ‘dysphonetic’ dyslexic somewhat, but does not address all underlying problems associated with dyslexia. Often, instruction in phonics will help the person learn to read, but the student will still find reading very difficult and will not read for pleasure or progress beyond reading grade-school level material.

Unfortunately, the phonics-based programs will not help the ‘dyseidetic’ dyslexic at all. Rather, it will only increase confusion, because the student is being drilled on something he already knows, without being given a means to develop whole-word recognition skills or learn to recognize words that do not sound exactly the way they are spelled.

Davis methods will help dyslexics who fit both types, because the underlying issues which give rise to dyslexia are addressed through Davis Orientation and Davis Symbol Mastery.

(Answer by Abigail Marshall)