Authors: Kramer, Sara.
Article: Is there a link between perceptual talent and dyslexia?.
Publication: The Journal of Inclusive Practice in further and higher education Issue 7. pp 34-48 2016
Early models of dyslexia were defined by deficiencies or failings. More recent models shifted the focus to an awareness of differences with Ronald D. Davis one of the earliest to focus on strengths and to argue that dyslexia was the result of perceptual talent. Very few
objective studies have been done to compare the spatial or perceptual abilities of individuals with dyslexia with those of people who do not have dyslexia, and the evidence has been conflicting. A small number of studies found evidence that people with dyslexia have strengths in global visual-spatial skills.
Empirical research was undertaken to assess whether the four component parts of Davis’
perceptual talent were more evident in a small group of people who had been diagnosed
with dyslexia than in a comparative group that was screened as not having dyslexia. This
was done through personal interviews which included Davis’ Perceptual Ability Assessment,
quantitative analysis and a discussion of thinking styles. It was concluded that, whilst no
difference was found in ability to visualise an image in 3D, the participants with dyslexia did have a greater ability to experience mental images as real-world phenomena, to intentionally access the brain’s perception distortion function, and a preference to think non-verbally.
This supports Davis’ assertion that there is a link between perceptual talent and dyslexia.