HomedyslexiaDyslexia and Peripheral Vision

So, there’s a sunflower growing right outside my office window. The bloom only opened yesterday or the day before, because this spring/summer has been so strange. For those not in the know, many bird species love sunflower seeds, so they’re drawn to the plants.

“What you doin’, human? Why
aren’t you doing yard work?”
Yeah, yeah…

Ever since the blossom appeared, I’ve been catching flurries of movement out of the corner of my eye. It tends to be pretty distracting, since that’s another thing I have problems tuning out, but it can be pretty entertaining. The little bird in the upper left side of the picture, for instance, must have seen me as I leaned over to see what was going on, so it peered right back at me from the outside.

The birds really aren’t that bad in comparison to some visual issues I have. Small blinking lights, like the “12:00” or “00:00” of an unset digital clock, and small patches of flashing colors drive me batty, too. If they show up in my field of vision, I have to do something to either stop the blinking or cover them up.

Because the weirdest things tend to pique my curiosity, I thought I’d see if there’s a connection to this brand of distractability and dyslexia. I mean, we already know that the inability to tune out background noise is a pretty common occurrence with dyslexia, right? Why not visual distractions, too?

There has been at least one study which states that dyslexic individuals tend to have sharper peripheral vision than non-dyslexics. The linked article also mentions that we tend to take in the entire picture first, which goes along with how many of us tend to look at the “forest” first and take in the “trees” afterwards.

After a little more searching, it looks like I’m not alone in that, either. One mom posted in this forum about how her son did better once he was moved to a school without windows, and I found quite a few articles like this one about how visual distractibility is common in young children with dyslexia.

It’s an interesting, if not slightly odd, experience, but it’s good to know that I’m not alone in going through it. Eventually, we’re going to finish our basement, and once that’s done, we’ll be moving my office down there. I wonder if not having a window in front of my desk will help me focus better.

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