What’s it Like to Have Dyslexia? 

Submitted by CCCL_KateM 

To spell and read automatically and fluently, you have to be able to connect sounds with letters and letters with sounds. But what happens when you can’t do this automatically due to a language processing issue in your brain 

Adults with dyslexia at Project Second Chance (PSC) tell us that this activity from NPR’s Misunderstood Mind accurately simulates what it feels like to have dyslexia. We do this activity during volunteer tutor training so that our tutors can better understand why their adult learner may have had such a hard time learning to read. 


Decoding Activity:  

Try using this phoneme translation key to read the passage below. 

When you see:  Pronounce it as: 
 q   d or t 
 z   m 
 p   b 
 b   p 
 ys   er 
 a (as in bat)   e (as in pet) 
 e (as in pet)   a (as in bat) 


We pegin our qrib eq a faziliar blace, a poqy like yours enq zine.
Iq conqains a hunqraq qrillion calls qheq work qogaqhys py qasign.
Enq wiqhin each one of qhese zany calls, each one qheq hes QNA,
Qhe QNA coqe is axecqly qhe saze, a zess-broquceq rasuze.
So qhe coqe in each call is iqanqical, a razarkaple puq veliq claiz.
Qhis zeans qheq qhe calls are nearly alike, puq noq axecqly qhe saze.
Qake, for insqence, qhe calls of qhe inqasqines; qheq qhey're viqal is cysqainly blain.
Now qhink apouq qhe way you woulq qhink if qhose calls wyse qhe calls in your prain. 




How far did you get? It might have been fun to do as a puzzle, but what if it had been for a test? How would you feel if others read it easily and you did not? You may have seen PSC tutor-learner pairs tutoring in the library. Now you know how hard some of them are working! If you're interested in learning more about dyslexia, here is a reading list we've put together.