Quick Facts about Directional Dyslexia:
A simple definition for the disability would be: Extreme difficulty distinguishing right from left and following a sequence of directions or retracing a path.
It's a bit of a misnomer to call a problem with direction a 'type' of dyslexia because many people without reading problems have difficult distinguishing left from right and getting lost. They have a Dys (difficulty) but not with Lexia (words). A better name for this problem would be something like Dysorienta.
Although having a poor sense of left and right, getting lost in a big house or not knowing which direction to turn when leaving an elevator is not dyslexia, dyslexics are notorious for mixing left and right ("no, the other right") and this kind of disability often occurs together with other types of dyslexia.
Interestingly, a common symptom of dyslexia is difficulty memorizing sequences, and since knowing the directions from A to B is about memorizing a sequence of actions ("Left at the store, right at the school then left again at the park") it's possible that the problems getting lost are really just a particular example of a problem with sequences of information.
Digging a bit deeper, the problem with memorizing sequences might be caused by weak short term memory, another very common symptom of dyslexia. It simply takes many more repetitions for dyslexics to learn something, especially abstract things like multiplication tables. This may carry over to learning of routes and directions.
Being told,' just go back the same way', or 'I'm sure you will find your way' can be terrifying to someone with a very weak sense of direction.
While getting lost can be funny or even educational, usually it's not. Keep this in mind when you discover a friend or family member is directionally challenged.
There aren't formal treatments for directional dyslexia, but there are some strategies that can help:
1) For left-right confusion
2) For poor sense of direction
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