Confusion about Confusion: Do Dyslexics Really Not Know their Left from Right?

Dyslexia May Be Behind Directional Confusion

Marson Nance’s wife doesn’t have to worry about him leaving her; she simply says his sense of direction is so bad, if he did go back to his parents on the east coast he’d probably end up in Nevada (where they live) anyway. When she tells him to turn left, he’ll always turn right.

Then it adds:

“The matter of left-right confusion, which is found in those who suffer from dyslexia…”

I think this article gets it wrong.

From my experience it’s simplistic and misleading to say dyslexia involves confusion with directionality. What I’ve found is that sometimes people with dyslexia get confused around language/specific words that signify directionality, such as  “left” and “right” or “east/west.”  Oftentimes the confusion happens when one has to quickly supply the correct word to a spatial direction.  The reverse is also true;  attaching the right meaning to a direction word.  The weakness is not directionality per se.  Fast processing of the command “Raise your right hand” can show the inefficiency in processing the language/word but not the actual spatial awareness.

I have known plenty of people with dyslexia who are amazingly talented in sensing and knowing direction and space, and especially while using landmarks or other visual anchor points as reference.  I’ve been with Alaskan commercial fisherman and sailors who show amazing abilities to “read the waves” and are able to navigate waters with the most subtle of visual and kinesthetic of cues.

Of course there are people who really do have real impairments with directionality but that is a co-occuring condition with dyslexia sometimes, and other times it exists soley on its own.  As usual, one size does not fit all.

#diversityinprocess #LearningDifferentlyCanBeLearningWell #UDL

About Sanford

Learning Disabilities specialist and Educational Consultant
This entry was posted in Discussion Topics, LD Support Sites. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Confusion about Confusion: Do Dyslexics Really Not Know their Left from Right?

  1. Richard says:

    This is quite interesting. My original thinking on this was exactly as you say, a co-occuring condition. But then I remember the neurologist (name escapes me) who theorized that lack of cerebral dominance (left dominance) plays a role in slow language processing and I would think, might also play a role in directionality problems.

    My guess is that there’s a coincidence between people who are left handed or ambidextrous and people with directionality problems. That’s a guess.

  2. Jamie says:

    My husband is dyslexic, cannot tell right from left efficiently at all, still has to hold up both hands to determine which one makes the L for left to know which direction to turn if I tell him turn left, but has a terrific sense of location and usually of North, South, East, West. My daughter is dyslexic and has a great sense of spatial relations, can remember where she is in relation to where she was or will be quite well, but left and right have given her some difficulty, although not as much as her father. She can play the game Portal 2, all about spatial relations, with amazing proficiency and “knows” when to turn left or right or up or down, but has difficulty translating a spoken left right instruction. My son is dyslexic, has NO sense of location, gets easily confused on where he is in relation to anything else and gets goofed up on left and right constantly. When doing karate, he actually does better after learning a basic move if he is blindfolded for practicing that move as they shout out left right instructions. Thought I would toss that in…

  3. Richard says:

    I love your family report Jamie. Supports the ideas that:

    1. we’re all different.

    2. nurture plays an important role in this as well as nature.

    Hopefully those who need it will use a GPS or a phone and navigation system as well as learn about visual landmarks and other supports for figuring this stuff out.

  4. Sanford says:

    Jamie. Thanks for the insight into the common parts and differences within your family. It does as Richard says, remind us that there’s no surity around specific symptoms of any “diagnosis.”

    From my experience (that’s over 25 years and lots of kids and adults…so pretty large sample size), a large amount are like your husband and daughter. They have a good sense of directions in some ways, but get confused with attaching the right verbal label, and the other way around (“Raise your right hand.”)

    It was amazing to me when I first went up to Alaska and met an unusual number of commercial fishermen who were dyslexic. They could read the waves, memorize electrical charts, and seemingly knew where they were with the most subtle visual or physical cues. Yet, that was no guarantee that they’d get the descriptive words correctly aligned.

    I completely agree Richard, with #1. and 2.

  5. Rosalyn says:

    I have had a problem with left/right all my life. I am left-handed and as someone posted above perhaps it is more common with left handed people.

    I am not dyslexic in any way. In fact, I was an early reader and reading and writing have always come easily to me.

    I guess we are all just different, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that because it takes their child a moment to figure out left from right, the child is necessarily dyslexic.

  6. Sanford says:

    Thanks for the reminder of what should be the obvious: Having variations in learning doesn’t mean you have a learning disability.

    Since we have to go by symptoms only, instead of say, blood tests, we need a cluster of symptoms over a period of time, in different settings to characterize anything, with a degree of surety.

  7. Bea says:

    If we truly believe that all children are unique then doesn’t it make sense NOT to generalize about dyslexics and recognize the individual nature of what is happening with each of them? We do use both our senses of hearing and sight to read. If most dyslexics suffer from difficulty with auditory processing what about the rest of the dyslexics who don’t fall into that “Most” category? Isn’t it possible that their condition is caused by a visual discrimination factor? When did dyslexia become attached only to auditory issues?

  8. Sanford says:



    To your question: “If we truly believe that all children are unique then doesn’t it make sense NOT to generalize about dyslexics and recognize the individual nature of what is happening with each of them?” …

    Great comment/question. My answer is absolutely. I’ve met and worked with hundreds and hundreds of folks who have dyslexia and there’s a ton of nuanced and sometimes striking differences among them. In fact, I don’t often see a lot of people with a “pure” dyslexia. Some also struggle with generalized attention issues (not just with print-based tasks), and some do not. Some have additional language processing weaknesses in the area of naming or retrieval, and some do not. Some are also dysgraphic and some aren’t. Dyslexia ranges in level of severity from mild to severe.

    The answer to the question about when it became “attached” to auditory issues only: I’m not sure it’s only attached to auditory issues, it’s more that the phonological aspect being regarded as the primary aspect has been in wide acceptance by many if not most reading and cognitive scientists since we expanded the ability to map brain systems. That said there is clearly a visual component to reading and even spelling to a lesser degree. The main process however that is interrupted or dysfluent in dyslexia, is in the rapid processing of visual symbols to a verbal label. That’s just part of the phonological loop.

    There are many visual issues that can help or hinder learning, but they are not dyslexia, though they may be attendant to it in an individual

  9. Kathryn says:

    I thought it was a cute genetic coincidence when I realized my daughter was like my mother – they can’t automatically point to the left or right, despite having excellent spatial skills and map reading expertise. My mother’s always relied on a birthmark on her left hand, but my daughter didn’t understand what I was talking about when I tried to teach her Jamie’s husband’s trick of holding her hands up to see which one makes an “L” with her thumb and index finger. (Try teaching a 16 year old how to drive without using the words “Left!, Left!” or “Turn right!”)

    Of course I didn’t have a clue as to just what genetic combination we were looking at until my kids were finally diagnosed with dyslexia – and my mother finally figured out in her late 70s why she had that odd characteristic.

    There were actually lots of clues, but I didn’t know they meant anything as a whole: ‘late talking’; difficulty with articulation, which mean frustration when others couldn’t understand; simplistic speech and vocabulary; inability to learn how to spell; difficulty learning how to read a clock face; difficulty learning how to tie shoes; shyness in speaking so that siblings ‘interpreted’; speaking so quickly that it’s hard to distinguish what’s being said; difficulty in actually whispering softly; being told that you speak too loudly; understanding a movie or TV show better with subtitles – for video done in English; reluctance to speak in front of others; extreme difficulty reading out loud, stumbling and stopping over words; not ‘catching’ everything that’s said when nothing is wrong with your hearing; not being able to filter out your environment, even if it’s just the sensation of someone’s movements sitting next to you; sensitivity to clothing; sensitivity to food textures; reading something and suddenly realizing that you don’t remember what you just read; not being able to describe your homework even though you thought you knew what it was; saying a word that doesn’t make sense but starts with the same sound as the word you had in mind (constitution vs commitment) – I could go on and on. All of these have been experienced by at least two members of my family, whether my parents, my two siblings and I, my two children or my niece and nephew. As a family, we contend with dyslexia and/or ADHD, each of us to varying degrees.

    I was given phonologically based instruction with grammar, syntax, sentence structure, spelling rules, handwriting and writing, so escaped most of the learning problems experienced by my younger siblings and our next generation. Perhaps Rosalyn had the correct instruction for a dyslexic child too; reading is one of my favorite things in life. My son’s probably read two or three books in his life; he doesn’t even read the sports page or the Sunday comics.

    If only I had known or my brother, sister, daughter, son, niece and nephew’s teachers had known that dyslexia can be suspected from manifestations like these! Their lives would have been vastly different.

  10. salma says:

    I have always had problem in understsnding directions and also confusion in left and right.while driving also i had problems when i m told to take left turn i ll always take the wrong turn to the right.even if i had visited a place several times i ll get confused regarding the directions and getting to the same address where i have been before.I was very good at academics though i had great difficulties in learning mathematics.i still struggle to read an ECG not becos i do not know ECG reafing but i get confused with the leads of ECG for this reason i have always avoided working in an ICU or cardiac department.
    I don’t know the problem which i m suffering is some kind of dyslexia???i m a homoeopathic doctor.

  11. Kathryn,

    Don’t give up on them. I’m an avid reader, everything I can get in my hands.
    But I) I’m a left handed dyslexic still unable to tell right from left, ii) my wife keeps telling me to lower my voice (I have even had my hearing checked to see if I had problems hearing my own voice, nil perfect hearing), iii) I still write, and love it, using a pencil and an eraser, iv) I’m incapable “too lazy” to do math calculations, like additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions on my head (I have always consoled myself thinking why bother if a calculator can do it better, faster and more accurately).

    Once while in College a few friends where driving from Boston to western Maine, I was at the wheel and my friends asleep, poor souls; a while afterward (a few many hours) I stopped the car and woke them up with a smile pointing to huge road sign that with gigantic white letters “WELCOMED US TO CANADA” and shyly pointed out that it was possible that I had missed the “SugarLoaf” Highway Exit.

    On the other hand, I have never had to drive again (with my old friends), I am alway driven by a Chauffeur. And every time some one mentions that trip, usually as example of how to get really lost, we all still laugh, but me the most when I see again their faces as they barely believed what the read -yes, we where in Canada.

    I’m pretty good with math (symbolic) algebraic, differential, etc… and leave the concrete calculations to the computer. By the way I still have and use daily my College HP Calculator an HP-19B.

    Computers and I actually reached an agreement: They won’t get into the business of creating complex algorithms, I won’t get into the business of doing a lot calculations. What I do is to create highly efficient algorithms and program them into the computers so they can be each day better at doing what I do worth, huge amounts of parallel calculations. We are a great team, we just know what each does best and we build on our strengths not on our weakness.

    I have a Jaguar and an Audi with Maps & Route Driver Assistance… and if some one is eager to give me directions while driving, it’s always you take the wheel, I’ll take the passenger sit an enjoy ride, when we get there don’t forget to save it (so I am able to come back, cause I won’t be trying to memorize the way…) Why? Logic dictates that “If a computer does it more efficiently, don’t waste your time and do more interesting things”.

  12. Nick says:

    I’ve found my family! People who truly can’t tell left from right seem to be really rare. Of the 100+ people in my HS marching band, I was the only one who had directional problems. We used to do these exercises, called Drill Downs, where the drum major would call out instructions. When you improperly executed the instruction, you were out. I wasn’t always the first one out, but I was always the first one to fail a L/R type directional instruction.
    I love my GPS, I would literally be lost with out it. I went to college about 200 miles away from home, pre GPS. Though I came home about four times a year, I got lost every single time. Mainly because the trips were so infrequent that the landmarks would change. Sure the road names never changed (32 to 5 to 205 to 580 to 680 to 280 to Home), but the state of the landscaping, a fruit stand, road kill, or something, like fog, would change, making the travel experience different.
    I think, for me my problem with left and right is the lack of an absolute direction. My left or your left? It was on the left when I was going, but now that I’ve turned around to come back it is on the right. Is that weird?
    I’m an exceptionally bright person, IQ 135. Almost a genius, damn those five points. But there are some things I just can’t understand.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I have to laugh at Nick’s post above (dated 4/29/14)…I really feel the pain of the Marching Band Drills. Gosh I wanted to be a cheerleader in high school or possibly learn a line dance here and there but learning any routine was impossible as I always wanted to go left. Always left -dog gone it!

    I am ambidextrous but predominantly a lefty. I am Dyslexic and struggle with numbers and math. I also cannot tell left from right and holding up my hands simply doesn’t help me. I still cannot figure out that the “L” means left. Hey world….please stop telling me to hold my hand up. LOL…..Forget giving or receiving written directions – it’s gotta all be landmark based.

    All throughout school, I dreaded to be called on to read out loud. Impossible! The words jumbled on the page and came out of my mouth all crazy. I still have that fear of reading out loud – please pick someone else, I beg you ( keep head down and do not make eye contact).

    Oh yeah =forgot to toss in my other little bonus of ADHD. I do , however Love being a lefty, and love the ADHD aspect of my life. I also love the right –left problem I have as it is different. Makes us unique.

    and yet I am highly successful in my career and have a high IQ – you guessed it – I am NOT a career line-dancer. hehehe

  14. Rajeev says:

    My daughter aged 11 yrs diagnosed with LD and Dylexia. She is studying in VIth and struggling hard to come to her peers. This week, she purchased a science book from exhibition and got interested in a colorfully demonstrated Periodic_table of elements in Chemistry part of the book. She decided to make a calendar style decorative period table herself. She made a beautiful periodic table but to my surprise it was again a mirror image of the Periodic Table. When I pointed it out, she realized it and instead of making a new one, started to find out the ways to modify it to be corrected.

  15. roy says:

    im 48 and have had dyslexia since my doctor told me around 9yrs old there is always hope i never gave up there was no real help at that time and i still believe there is little or no understanding today dyslexia was my strength i support a family have a one truck business and have very good direction.i still have had to work much harder at things in, life is a daily struggle at times but i dont think its any different from most people what people do not understand is that we just comprehend the written world and the way our Braine process thing different from most peopler.I personally believe that we can still be productieve and have a lot to contribute to society

  16. Sanford says:

    Roy, thanks for sharing some of your story. Life’s struggles, as you say, are an equal opportunity companion. Though the specifics may change, growing up as a kid who didn’t fit into school’s demands, you encountered that at a time when you couldn’t have the perspective you have now.

    If you ever want to write out your story more fully and share it with our readers, I’d be happy to help you flesh it out.

    All the best,

  17. Jade says:

    Hi my names Jade:)
    I found out I had dyslexia when I was 6.
    And it’s been a really big problem in my life.
    And the biggest problem Well it’s kinda hard to say in a couple words!
    Well my biggest problem happens when I was in 5th grade!
    Well a lot of people and a lot of my friends where joining band.
    And I really wanted to join. But I had to take a big quiz. They only gave us 3 chances to take the test.
    Well the first time I failed. And the worst part is there was only 2 other people failed the test. So I tryed taking the test again.
    Well the 2 time I failed it again… But I was not going to give up.
    So I studied for a for 3 days straight. I was so scared to take the test.
    But The next day I look the test. It took 2 days to get the text..
    But I did get my quiz back.. And on the top it said ” What Insterment Do You Wan’t To Play. Cause You Just Made It.”
    I’m glad to say been in band for 4 Years. And I’ve been in Marching band for 2 1/2 years.. And on my freshman year I thought marching band was easy but truth is marching band in High school is a lot Harder. I totally feel like everyone kinda knows I have dyslexia. But they totally don’t know. One day I was talk to my Marching band leader. And I told her that I had dyslexia. And I kinda had tears in my eyes. She gave my a big hug. And she said ” That’s awesome”
    Me: Why 🙁
    Her: Because that means you work harder then everyone else.
    And know she’s my best friend.. And she totally helps me with marching band. But trurt is I some times still I get confused and mess up..
    Left and right confuse me sometimes. But that means I just got to work a lot harder:)

    • Sanford says:

      In my opinion, it’s so awesome that you wrote in because I bet you had to talk yourself into it. Not only are you stubborn in a good way (you didn’t give up on the band even though you had to retake and pass a written test), but you also go “out of your comfort zone. ” To me that means you do things that you risk embarrassment and showing your “flaws” or struggles. In the end, those kind of risks pay off big time.

      All I can say is keep it up and also I for one applaud you.


  18. Sherri says:

    I am almost 44 years old and decided today to search on “what causes a person to not know their left and right”. When I started reading these posts I was speechless. I have been struggling with this all my life. When I was in second grade I was sent to a special class to learn my left and right. I had to go to this the entire year and I learned it from memory. I have been told by so many friends, family members and colleagues that I have a photographic memory that amazes them. I thank them for the compliments; however, in my mind I am saying, I have so many other weaknesses. I have a difficulty with pronunciation, spelling ( I used spell check on that word) and reading comprehension. I am a sophomore in college and I have a 3.53 GPA. I have been in the Healthcare industry for over 26 years and 14 years of that has been in middle management. My two boys have struggled with reading comprehension as well; however, my oldest just graduated with a 3.3 GPA and my younger son, diagnosed with ADHD has a 2.8 currently. He doesn’t like the way his medicine makes him feel so he did not take it this past school year; however, this next year he want back on it. It is really difficult for me to be so smart in so many different areas and be in a care when someone ask “which way do I go” and I say left when I know it is right but without hesitation I say “left”. When the person driving starts turning left, I say, I mean your other left, so that they know I meant right. For my friends and family they do this for me to make it easier on me not to feel like I am a idiot. I have been corrected all of my life by adults who think because I am southern with a stronger mountain accent that I am just dumb/stupid. I have been laughed at some much that I laugh it off myself but inside it crushes me. I really would like to find out if I have a learning disability because I constantly get told I am yelling or talking to loud. I have had my hearing checked I believe 3 times with all results showing no hearing impairment; however, I can make out certain tones or words when people talk softly or fast. What type of doctor would I go to be tested for these symptoms or conditions?

  19. Ronnie says:

    I am 50 years old and still struggling with my left and right. I grew up in a poor family. We ate with our bare hands since we do not have the proper utensils. My parents would always hit my hand with bamboo sticks because I always use my left hand to eat. They thought that I was left handed but they were confused also because I usually used my right hand for other task. Moreover when I use the proper eating utensils I use my right hand to eat.
    Fast forward; I was able to go to university with help of scholarship. I hated so much my Saturday half day military training because of the marching drills. I would always end up turning to the opposite direction when our platoon commander ordered us to turn right or left. I never learned how to drive. When my driving teacher asked me to step on break, I stepped on gas instead. When I maneuvered the steering wheel I got more confused to which direction I would end up. The manual speed adjustment drives me nut. A lot of my friends mocked me because, I can do a lot of complicated calculations and programming but I never learned the simple driving.
    Now I am in Canada. My work as Tech support needs to give client exact direction to troubleshoot software issues by phone. For example; I have to ask them to click the icon located in the left side or the screen or find this menu on the left side. Most of the time, they will not be able to find it because t is on the opposite side. My boss had reprimanded me to why I am always remotely accessing my client computer to help them with their software issue. I notice also when typing word, I always interchange the position of letters for example the word “the” will always be “the”; field “filed”; thanks “tanhks’and many more.
    I have never consulted a neurologist about my problem. I do not know, if I can still learn to drive just because of the trauma of accident that I my get into. Thanks for this posts, I am happy I am not alone .

  20. Sanford says:

    Wow, great description of a sticky problem. If you can swing it, i would definitely recommend having a thorough evaluation from someone talented. Probably in your case, a neuropsychologist would be best, or someone that can look at different types of cognitive processes. Let me know where you’re located if you like and perhaps I can make a recommendation.

  21. Joan A says:

    I am from UK, things are just the same over here! I am 76 and have been in computer hardware/software operation and management all my working life. I have always had difficulty in describing positions such as left and right and I have to imprint in my mind a map of the UK, onto anywhere I am going, so that I can ‘see’ north, south, east and west (west country, East Anglia and so on), arrows and symbols are useless to me, and at work I had difficulty explaining to staff directional aspects of a job such as how to insert/remove a multiple disc pack into its drive/unit, the same things happen with screws, water taps, keys in doors, etc. I know instinctively how to do it but become inarticulate if anyone asks me to describe the movement. At home I turn on the incorrect knobs on the cooker hob because they are laid out in a square and I cannot relate them to the actual ring I wish to use. Several accidents have been experienced when finding out that the wrong ring is extremely hot! Most of the time it does not cause a real problem although I have today marked the hob switches 1,2,3,4 and managed to mark the hobs accurately as well, so I am hoping for less of that particular failing on my part (What am I going to be like when I am really old!)
    Reading some of the posts above I can empathise with you, and wonder if it was bred into me by a Mother who was adamant that no child of hers would be left-handed. I am right-handed with very bad pen-skills, was sent back down to Pencil writing when all other pupils were allowed to use Ink! but other activities feel much more comfortable when using the left.

    It is comforting to learn that others than myself have to manage with these quirks!

  22. Sanford says:

    Thanks for writing in. You illustrate how directional confusion can be much more than attaching the wrong word (e.g. left or right).

  23. Lewis Frisch says:

    I am a 66 year male who wasn’t even aware of my lifelong left-right problems until I was in my 30’s. I have a photographic memory, a good sense of direction and no problems with any sort of mental task.

    I am very musical, from a family where these gifts are present and my career has been based in audio engineering. But I never could play a musical instrument properly. As a child, my piano teacher found me immensely frustrating. Later in junoir high school, I persistently failed touch typing. In both instances I was taught from the beginning not to look at my hands. I found it extremely difficult to coordinate my hand movements when my eyes were fixed straight ahead.

    Many years later, when driving, I realized that if I was not looking at my hands on the wheel I would frequently not be able to respond properly to directions to turn right or turn left. My actions in turning would not be consistent with commands if my hands were not in view.

    I came to realize that I knew right and left only because of a visual association with my left hand and my right hand. If I can see the hands then I know left from right. If I can’t see them my sense of left and right is dramatically weakened.

    After some time I concluded that I had learned the visual association as a child in order to unconsciously cope with a
    very specific mental condition which involved a weak sense of
    left and right that translated into difficulty sending commands to the proper hand, when I could not see them and also to more general coordination of movements. So I would agree with comments that this difficulty it is sometimes not related to either sense of direction or learning abilities but rather that it can manifest itself in ability to respond to directional commands and overall coordination of movements.

    Whether this is related to righthandedness and lefthandedness I do not know. I am right handed but I can’t hold pens properly so I write just like a “lefty”, smearing ink as I go.

  24. Viraal says:

    Hi. I am Viraal, 29 male from India. I do have dyslaxia even today I can not differanciat right to left. I also get trouble in d & b as well I always get confused while writing it. But I have a very good sense of directions. I never forget the road I travel once. Not even after years.

    I find the solution for the left to right with the L thing only and it works fine for me. People around me never knew that I have dyslaxia.

  25. Jane says:

    Hello: I’ve had great fun reading these posts. Although I just turned 80, I’ve never before investigated right-left confusion. They are meaningless concepts to me. As a child, I identified right as the hand I was supposed to write with, but I would have to try to write to figure that out. I was taught to use my right hand, but switch back and forth for many tasks. I have a high IQ and I’m not dyslexic. I’m very good at maths and symbols and recently did some technical translating that involved 3 languages and 5 alphabets. I live in the US where we drive on the right. (I had to envision driving on the road by my house to even say that.) My husband and I went to New Zealand, where they drive on the left. I thought I would be unable to drive. To my surprise, I found it made no difference to me at all. Even using a stick shift with a different hand seemed perfectly natural. So, there can be advantages at times for non-handedness.

  26. Richard says:

    Great comment Jane.

    One small or not so small point though. What you call “non-handedness” is generally called “ambidextrous” and I’m pretty sure what causes that (at least according to Norman Geschwind in the old days) was mixed cerebral dominance, rather than one hemisphere being dominant leading to one hand being dominant. None of this is different from what you’re saying, it’s just a different way of describing it.

    I’ve always thought that problems with directionality in the dyslexia world had something to do with not being able to physically comprehend the words “left” and “right” although most think it’s a physical thing only. I’m less sure about it.

    I love the idea that you can drive on either side of the road and use a stick (and clutch and gas and brake) with different hands/feet with no problem.

    I’ve always avoided driving in UK because of this but the next time I’m there I might give it a try (I’m 63).

    Thanks for a great comment.

  27. Sanford says:

    Jane and Richard,

    What strikes me about ambi-dexterousness is that some people experience it as beneficial is some situations and in others, not so much. I’m not dyslexic either. I find my sense of directionality in sports to be excellent (mostly in my younger days to be honest). I judge directions, speed and angle on a tennis court without thought, for example. But it’s an environment I grew up in (sports). And yet, when I’m writing on a paper or on a chalkboard, I can run out of room more often than I expect.

    But then again, I have no issue with labeling directions like left and right.

    When I lived in Australia I had no problem learning to drive with the steering wheel on the opposite side. I was probably helped with working the stick shift by the fact that I’m left-handed.

    The other part of these types of discussions I appreciate is how much neurological diversity we humans seem to have.

  28. James says:

    I read most of the comments here and I believe that I am in the right place. Not to brag, in the least, but I am a high-functioning attorney with undergraduate and law school degrees from top 20 universities. The crazy thing that I’ve lived with all of my life, but I’m only looking into now, is the fact that I have terrible hand confusion. I think that I am ambidextrous but I don’t do things equally well with both hands. That is probably more because, with big issues like writing, I’ve chosen my left hand and never practiced with my right hand. When I was very young, my parents thought that I was a pure lefty and that caused some embarrassment on the t-ball field. Since I naturally throw with my right hand, I threw the ball with it still in my glove. Coaches tried to correct me because most figured I was young and simply needed to learn. More confusion set in when I kept throwing the same way until my Dad figured out that I was a right hand thrower. This took quite some time. Ever since this determination, I have split tasks between right and left hands. I write and do almost everything with precision with my left hand. With nearly everything that involves power, I use my right hand. I’m not sure if that is innate or if I just decided to build myself up that way. I have terrible trouble with choreography of any kind. For example, I could not do karate because all of the complicated forms required right and left hand movements. Doing them in the mirror made the task even more impossible for me. Despite all of this lack of coordination between hands, I was a Division 1 starting college basketball player and even played 2 years of pro basketball in Europe. The right vs left coordination is not a problem as long as I can move freely and don’t have to follow any hand/foot instruction. My personal trainer laughs at me, jokingly, because it is always hard for me to do exercises that involve the slightest right to left hand coordination. Does this make me ambidextrous? I don’t have any real issue with dyslexia although occasionally, on a quick glance, I will see a second number as the first one. It happens but it’s very rare. I would love some type of diagnosis or, at least, some thoughts. It’s so cool to have a community of people that understand these issues. Explaining them to others, who don’t have these problems, is extremely frustrating. Thanks to everyone for taking a moment to read my story!

  29. mary rose a. diaz says:

    I am 22 years old when I am still a student I haven’t recognize that I have this confusion of left and right and also the letter which sometimes pronounce the same which letting me think first. I almost stop or pause first before I continue I wonder about the left and right and try to look at my hands and I got it, and also the letter C and S which make me confuse I need to stop and think first if that letter was next to B or what? and also the letter J and G. I thought it was normal because I also asked my classmate well she also wonder for her confusion of the direction.
    But after I graduate of civil engineering and find my job I notice that I neither my way of read is sometimes from the bottom of the words where I get easily read it and after I read it, I noticed that it was from the bottom part of the word or perhaps the salable at the right going left reading and also in reading numbers I wonder why in my mind I already read it right way and my friends noticed that I read it just like ramble where I first mentioned the middle part “325” and become “253”.
    But I think if I am going to rank my confusion from 1 to 10 this might be at rank 3 not really critical, I feel Lucky because I knew it right away .I am trying to avoid this things happened in my whole world because I am into number and direction career.
    But anyways thanks for the comment that makes me feel that it was not only me has this and it was not an crazy thing and I am not in the critical situation yet which am trying to avoid.

  30. Jen Bur says:

    I felled first and second grade due to dyslexia. I was taught sight reading and could not see past the first two letters. So all words starting with wh looked alike to me etc. I got to where I figured out that wh words sounded the same in the beginning sound and that is when I taught myself phonics. I use to wonder why my teacher’s didn’t tell me that. Mom said I was ambidextrous before I was taught to write. I now write better with my right hand but I am equally skilled in all other things with both hands. I fully understand my place in the space yet can’t relate the words left and right to where I need to go. I have learned to pretend to pick up a a pencil in my mind to figure out what direction right is. I do mental gymnastics as I drive trying to connect direction with a word at the same time I am steering and noticing cars around me and lights, street signs, intersections and everything else that has to be done while driving with the added distraction of mentally picking up a pencil in order to get where I need to go. As an adult I am still plagued when learning new skills. It’s takes a little longer for me but once I get it I perform as well as others and often better.

  31. Wen says:

    Well, same as Sherri. Was googling what cause a person who didn’t know their left and right. Then bump into this website. I didn’t know I have such problem until my partner keep laughing at me for not knowing my left and right. In the beginning I laugh it off but recently I feel quite disturbing.

    Searching around for answers and try a few free dyslexia test n I guess I have this serious issue.

    Now, thinking back when I was young I can never pass my spelling or dictation. Till a point I have to use a huge drawing paper to learn all my 10spelling. I have to study extreme hard for any theory class even till now. Hands on will not be a problem to let at all. I can never write in a straight line, I talk loudly which I do not even know till my partner was asking why am I shouting. Also I have difficult time reading and understand a passage most important I can missed a few words when reading. I also find myself having difficulties to express myself and recently had a very bad short term memory.

    At work, I sometimes find it a difficult to read properly in the emails. Or a hundred emails I could missed reading it. My manager sometimes questions me why I didn’t know my products. Eg. DP credit Bureau report, I read it as DP credit rating report.

    After reading most of the stories here and the signs make me think do I have dyslexia.

  32. Why users still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe everything
    is presented on net?

  33. Susan D Walker says:

    I was 40 years old before I realized I had trouble with left and right. It became obvious when I would drive with a passenger giving directions. If the passenger would say go left or right, I would always go the opposite direction – always. My brain always turns them around. Never been identified as having dyslexia.

    • Sanford says:

      Thanks for writing in. I’d love to hear more from you about this. One of the parts of this discussion that’s challenging to tease apart is this: Do you think your challenge with directions is more about the language of space (left, right, east, west, etc) or is it about processing spatial information? Do you tend to get lost easily? Can you orient ands remember how to get to and back from somewhere more easily with physical landscapes (“head to the mountains”)? Thanks for opening up the conversation more. Sanford

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.