Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

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Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 9:12 am 

Several years ago my wife and I were asked to be co-investigators with MIT in a study to determine the prevalence of early readers who might process print better upside-down than in the "conventional" way.

Interest in doing this study began when Dr. Danica Mijovik Prelic, of MIT contacted me by e-mail...

Dear Mr Round,
I just came across your exciting work on IP (PI) and immediately sent you a private message on your GuestBook but I am afraid it did not go through. Here is the reason for my particular interest in your work: Together with my colleagues at MIT and Harvard, I have done extensive behavioral and imaging studies on a young girl (without documented brain lesion) who reads, writes and draws upside-down. The scientific literature cites such cases as extremely rare but I was not surprised to read on your website that they seem to be much more frequent than hitherto believed. I would be delighted to hear more about your work.


Making a long story short, Dr. Prelic, my wife and I (mostly my wife), with the blessing of the Central Falls, RI School Department and the parents of all participants, conducted tests on 119 Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students, Here are the results....


Preliminary Results for MIT Research on Upside-Down Reading

RESULTS:

54 (27%) Read equally as well or better upside-down

41 (21%) Read significantly better upside-down

11 (6%) Read much better (100% improvement or more)

13 (6%) Read equally as well conventionally and inverted

So, another way to look at it is that 27% of the children in this group, without having ever been instructed in this unconventional positioning, read better upside down!

The next question is WHY?
Maybe someone reading this post knows the answer or has a theory. Maybe there is someone who would be willing to replicate this study to lend it credibility.
I welcome you to comment here or contact me directly.
Sincerely,
Stephen Round
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Braininvat on March 5th, 2017, 10:30 am 

Was the study published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and, if so, do you have a citation? Determining any "why" starts with seeing the actual study, how data was gathered and interpreted, what degree of literacy subjects had prior to the experiment's start, etc. Also it's very important to understand that, in science, we don't replicate a study to "lend it credibility" but rather to test its credibility and its conclusions.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 11:21 am 

Thanks Braini, for your response.
Obviously it wasn't ever published - and to this day I have never been able to find out why.

I have a few ideas though....
Maybe the results were not what the "powers that be at MIT" (I like that) were looking for. All I know is that my wife and I spent many hours on this study and wasted a lot of other peoples time doing it.

Dr. Milojic-Prelec was wonderful to deal with, and my wife and I have spent the last 5 or 6 years waiting to see if MIT would do something with the study. But they haven't and now I'd like to see someone else pick up the ball and find some answers.

I invite anyone interested in the study to "test its credibility and conclusions". You would have my complete cooperation.

Steve
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Dave_Oblad on March 5th, 2017, 12:47 pm 

Hi Teacherman,

I would not have any objections in allowing a student to Read or Write upside down. But forcing a student to conform to some arbitrary standard seems wrong. It's like forcing a left handed student to write with his right hand.

The only advantage to forcing one to read right-side up is that all public signs, advertisements and warnings are posted right-side up. Only being able to read upside-down would seem an obvious impediment to such a person.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Athena on March 5th, 2017, 2:06 pm 

I usually do Scrabble upside down because it is easy for me but hard for my friends. I just attempted reading books to see how well I could do that, and the size of the print and complexity of the words makes a big difference. Of course, it is much easier to read a large print children's book upside down than a complex, small print adult book. However, when reading the children's book upside down, I can feel the effort in my head, and I am wondering if this impacts comprehension?

How was it determined the children were reading better? Was this verbal as in reading out loud, or did it involve questions and answering them in written form? Was there a test for comprehension, because reading better verbally does not necessarily equate comprehension.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Athena on March 5th, 2017, 2:22 pm 

Dave_Oblad » March 5th, 2017, 10:47 am wrote:Hi Teacherman,

I would not have any objections in allowing a student to Read or Write upside down. But forcing a student to conform to some arbitrary standard seems wrong. It's like forcing a left handed student to write with his right hand.

The only advantage to forcing one to read right-side up is that all public signs, advertisements and warnings are posted right-side up. Only being able to read upside-down would seem an obvious impediment to such a person.

Regards,
Dave :^)


There is an important benefit to writing with both hands and teachers may want to give this benefit to children.

Using your opposite hand will strengthen neural connections in your brain, and even grow new ones. It's similar to how physical exercise improves your body's functioning and grows muscles. I think the benefits may go beyond better coordination and may improve creative thinking because the right brain and left brain perform different functions and get feed back from the opposite sides of our body, such as the right eye information goes left and left eye information goes right.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 3:12 pm 

Dave_Oblad » March 5th, 2017, 12:47 pm wrote:Hi Teacherman,

I would not have any objections in allowing a student to Read or Write upside down. But forcing a student to conform to some arbitrary standard seems wrong. It's like forcing a left handed student to write with his right hand.

The only advantage to forcing one to read right-side up is that all public signs, advertisements and warnings are posted right-side up. Only being able to read upside-down would seem an obvious impediment to such a person.

Regards,
Dave :^)


What I've seen over and over, Dave, is that very soon after being allowed to read and write upside down, they teach themselves to read the "normal way", (they want to at least appear normal) in the same way teachers teach themselves to read upside down. Sometimes it happens within days..... like in this video. Watch carefully and listen to the exchange between Juan and me. This is the same little boy who didn't know his letters (according to standardized testing).
This is one of my favorite videos. I had so much fun with those kids it was a joy to go to work...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCX_75iBT4s&index=129&t=17s&list=PLsjYSPF765hmavWDZY_9p7AVKm9xecdr3
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 3:24 pm 

Athena » March 5th, 2017, 2:06 pm wrote:I usually do Scrabble upside down because it is easy for me but hard for my friends. I just attempted reading books to see how well I could do that, and the size of the print and complexity of the words makes a big difference. Of course, it is much easier to read a large print children's book upside down than a complex, small print adult book. However, when reading the children's book upside down, I can feel the effort in my head, and I am wondering if this impacts comprehension?

How was it determined the children were reading better? Was this verbal as in reading out loud, or did it involve questions and answering them in written form? Was there a test for comprehension, because reading better verbally does not necessarily equate comprehension.


How about if I let this diagnosed "dyslexic" adult show (and tell) about how it helps her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTcyPYH ... VKm9xecdr3
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 3:32 pm 

Athena » March 5th, 2017, 2:22 pm wrote:
Dave_Oblad » March 5th, 2017, 10:47 am wrote:
There is an important benefit to writing with both hands and teachers may want to give this benefit to children.

Using your opposite hand will strengthen neural connections in your brain, and even grow new ones. It's similar to how physical exercise improves your body's functioning and grows muscles. I think the benefits may go beyond better coordination and may improve creative thinking because the right brain and left brain perform different functions and get feed back from the opposite sides of our body, such as the right eye information goes left and left eye information goes right.


I agree, Athena
But from what I've seen, PI writers are even more "handed" than the so-called "normal" writers. I'll let Kyra explain. She is not an inverted reader and writer.
She's actually a 90 degree sideways reader and writer and it has to be turned "her way".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnlY9v ... VKm9xecdr3

Here's what Kyra's father had to say about her reading and writing:

Bryce Thompson - Teacher - New Hope Academy, East Killingly, CT

My name is Bryce Thompson, and I am a teacher at New Hope Academy in East Killingly, Connecticut. Here is my perspective on the progress of two students, with regards to Print Inverted Reading.
Kyra (9 years old):
Kyra is my daughter. She has always been very bright and insightful, even from an early age. She picked up on things really quickly, and almost seemed intuitive when it came to applying her mind to her surroundings. I became a little uneasy as she began to experience more and more trouble with reading. She did not look forward to our nightly reading together, nor practicing her sight words. I thought, "Well, all kids are different, and she'll come around soon." However, when she spent a year without progress in a special reading program at her public school (which I will say was sincerely trying to help her), I started to worry. A year and a half ago, I enrolled her in NHA, where I was teaching. I observed her handwriting was sloppy and her letters where out of order. She soon began working with Mr. Round. He discovered that she read naturally while holding the text at a 90 degree angle. She suddenly became excited about reading and made great strides, not only in her performance, but in her confidence as well. She trained with him, reading and writing "her way". As she progressed, I noticed she was not always reading at an angle. She now no longer reads nor writes while holding the text at a 90 degree angle. She holds it in the "standard orientation". Kyra enjoys her school work, does very well on spelling tests and written assignments, and her penmanship is better than my own. She has no difficulty with the task of reading, and rises to the academic challenges presented to her. Mr. Round has re-energized my daughter by simply allowing her to encounter textual information in a way that aligned with her brain's natural perception of it. By having this freedom, she has gathered her intellectual wings beneath her and she can soar.
Last edited by teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 3:34 pm 

Can a moderator please figure out why my videos are only showing links.
If I'm doing something wrong please let me know.....
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby vivian maxine on March 5th, 2017, 4:53 pm 

Athena, maybe this will in part answer your question about comprehension. I had a dyslexic student one year - fourth grade. Whenever we had an assignment that required reading silently and working out thought problems or reading a story and talking about it, this boy went to the cloak room with another student who did the reading aloud for him. His responses at discussion time showed that he had indeed understood everything he heard. He was obviously a very intelligent child - one of those that articles about dyslexia often say "go on to be quite successful in life". I wish I knew what he is doing now. At any rate, there are many ways to solve problems and, yes, without other more serious intellectual handicaps, the student will have good comprehension.

I also - years ago - read about a university student who hired another student to read all his text books to him. Apparently it worked (and on the other side helped the reader pay his way through college). It was this that gave me the idea of sending my two students to the cloak room to work together.

Aside: My dyslexic student's mother had a T-shirt made for him which he sometimes wore to school. It said "Be Patient. God is not finished with me yet." :-)
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby vivian maxine on March 5th, 2017, 5:03 pm 

Teacherman, does Kyra's (and others') story say that the brain can, if left to itself eventually rewire itself to the "normal" way? My question is probably clumsily put but I hope you understand what I am asking. An ancient Greek doctor whose name I've long since forgotten once said that most illnesses - if left alone - will eventually heal themselves. Maybe that isn't quite the same but it's the sort of thing I'm wondering about. Is it possible that some cases of dyslexia - if left alone - will eventually right themselves?
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Braininvat on March 5th, 2017, 5:59 pm 

DK, Teacher. Looks like the URLs you are using are a search result, rather than the basic YouTube URL? Brackets don't work, for some reason. As long as they are clickable, that should suffice.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 6:02 pm 

vivian maxine » March 5th, 2017, 5:03 pm wrote:Teacherman, does Kyra's (and others') story say that the brain can, if left to itself eventually rewire itself to the "normal" way? My question is probably clumsily put but I hope you understand what I am asking. An ancient Greek doctor whose name I've long since forgotten once said that most illnesses - if left alone - will eventually heal themselves. Maybe that isn't quite the same but it's the sort of thing I'm wondering about. Is it possible that some cases of dyslexia - if left alone - will eventually right themselves?


I can't really answer that. All I can tell you is that I ran into Kyra's dad a few weeks ago and he said she is doing very well. I believe she is in her 1st or 2nd year of High School.

I did ask if she still reads side-ways and he said "Only when she's very tired."
So, from that statement, I would guess that she still sees on an angle but has learned how to read "normally".

Thanks for your question, Vivian.
It was very well put.
Steve
PS Maybe I can get Kyra's dad (or Kyra herself) to join in on this conversation.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby vivian maxine on March 5th, 2017, 6:14 pm 

Biv!!! Please tell me you didn't!!! You didn't shave your poor cat!!! Promise!!! I shall report you to the SPCA.

Teacheman, I rather suspect it is something they have not discovered yet. If they had, they'd be writing about it. But, if we think about, we know the brain can rewire for other problems; why not for dyslexia?
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 5th, 2017, 6:27 pm 

Athena » March 5th, 2017, 2:06 pm wrote:I usually do Scrabble upside down because it is easy for me but hard for my friends. I just attempted reading books to see how well I could do that, and the size of the print and complexity of the words makes a big difference. Of course, it is much easier to read a large print children's book upside down than a complex, small print adult book. However, when reading the children's book upside down, I can feel the effort in my head, and I am wondering if this impacts comprehension?

How was it determined the children were reading better? Was this verbal as in reading out loud, or did it involve questions and answering them in written form? Was there a test for comprehension, because reading better verbally does not necessarily equate comprehension.


Thanks for your comment, Athena
As for the first part of your question, of course it impacts your comprehension to read upside-down. Your efforts are going primarily into decoding instead of comprehension because it's not your normal. And that's how it is with PI kids (and adults). When they hold the book "normally" its a struggle to decode. When it's inverted, the pressure to decode is off. They can actually enjoy what they read and focus on what the text is actually saying.

As for your second question, according to his teachers this young man was reading on a 1st grade level. With no instruction, and a simple accommodation, here he is reading Harry Potter (RL5.5)
Be sure to watch it up to the end. That's where the comprehension "piece" comes in....
Steve

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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Dave_Oblad on March 5th, 2017, 9:51 pm 

Hi All,

I mentioned in a previous post on Flipping Vision (that got cut as teacherman had also noticed) that my Wife was dyslexic. They put her in a class for Low Intelligence students and gave her a social stigma that lasted for most of her early adult life. I realized early on (shortly after I married her) that she was dyslexic and hated getting near anything that even looked like a book. Her School Trauma was very evident.

So I did to her what I did to myself.. Started her on comic books.. "Archie" was her favorite. No Pressure. Then later some simple books for middle school with Pictures and fun stories. About 10 years later she had gone from Comic Books to Adult Level Books and her favorite was "A Wrinkle in Time".

I was very proud of her accomplishment (and so was she). She was not so stupid after all.

Schools failed to help her become what she had the potential for.

That needs to be fixed (assuming nothing has changed over the intervening years).

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 6th, 2017, 9:34 am 

Dave_Oblad » March 5th, 2017, 9:51 pm wrote:Hi All,

I mentioned in a previous post on Flipping Vision (that got cut as teacherman had also noticed) that my Wife was dyslexic. They put her in a class for Low Intelligence students and gave her a social stigma that lasted for most of her early adult life. I realized early on (shortly after I married her) that she was dyslexic and hated getting near anything that even looked like a book. Her School Trauma was very evident.

So I did to her what I did to myself.. Started her on comic books.. "Archie" was her favorite. No Pressure. Then later some simple books for middle school with Pictures and fun stories. About 10 years later she had gone from Comic Books to Adult Level Books and her favorite was "A Wrinkle in Time".

I was very proud of her accomplishment (and so was she). She was not so stupid after all.

Schools failed to help her become what she had the potential for.

That needs to be fixed (assuming nothing has changed over the intervening years).

Regards,
Dave :^)


Unfortunately, little has changed, Dave. In many ways it has gotten worse. On a positive note, though, the word "dyslexia" is no longer a dirty word. When I began looking into PI as being related to "the D word" (17 years ago) all hell would break loose. At least most people now recognize it as a real disability/ability and are discussing it openly.
As far as how you helped your wife - Whatever works is the right way! Right?

Steve
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby Athena on March 6th, 2017, 2:24 pm 

vivian maxine » March 5th, 2017, 3:03 pm wrote:Teacherman, does Kyra's (and others') story say that the brain can, if left to itself eventually rewire itself to the "normal" way? My question is probably clumsily put but I hope you understand what I am asking. An ancient Greek doctor whose name I've long since forgotten once said that most illnesses - if left alone - will eventually heal themselves. Maybe that isn't quite the same but it's the sort of thing I'm wondering about. Is it possible that some cases of dyslexia - if left alone - will eventually right themselves?



We learn to see. Here is a video that explains this. If you are in a here move about 9 minutes into the video.

https://www.ted.com/talks/pawan_sinha_o ... arn_to_see


The video follows the one about learning to see. It is about how our brains work.
https://www.ted.com/talks/vilayanur_ram ... #t-1398698

I am sharing this with you here because it is the most important explanation of my experience of reality that I have come across. This is transforming to my self-image. This is a pretty big emotional moment for me and I want to thank you for this thread that lead to this discovery.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 6th, 2017, 3:06 pm 

Athena » March 6th, 2017, 2:24 pm wrote:
vivian maxine » March 5th, 2017, 3:03 pm wrote:Teacherman, does Kyra's (and others') story say that the brain can, if left to itself eventually rewire itself to the "normal" way? My question is probably clumsily put but I hope you understand what I am asking. An ancient Greek doctor whose name I've long since forgotten once said that most illnesses - if left alone - will eventually heal themselves. Maybe that isn't quite the same but it's the sort of thing I'm wondering about. Is it possible that some cases of dyslexia - if left alone - will eventually right themselves?



We learn to see. Here is a video that explains this. If you are in a here move about 9 minutes into the video.

https://www.ted.com/talks/pawan_sinha_o ... arn_to_see


Thank you, Athena
Vision acquisition whether in babies or adults fascinates me. I think studying adults gives you an advantage because their sensual schema is already formed and they can actually communicate. The subject in the video had the advantage of knowing up and down because his body had been functioning in an up/down, left right world for many years. A baby experiences the opposite - especially in the first 3 or 4 months.

Please stay with the thread. I value your input....
Steve
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby vivian maxine on March 6th, 2017, 3:48 pm 

Thank you, Athena. Hard to follow him but I have that problem with videos. Not the fault of the video but me. That's one reason I like to read.
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Re: Many Early Readers Could Benefit By Reading Upside-Down

Postby teacherman on March 6th, 2017, 6:19 pm 

"I am sharing this with you here because it is the most important explanation of my experience of reality that I have come across. This is transforming to my self-image. This is a pretty big emotional moment for me and I want to thank you for this thread that lead to this discovery."

Athena....
I am so glad it helped you. Just think what this 1st grader felt when she found that she could, not only read, but write upside-down.
From "stupid" to smart in 5 minutes....
Not to say she was ever stupid. I wouldn't be surprised if she becomes a doctor or lawyer or jet plane pilot.

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