COGNITIVE TESTS FOR GETTING YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE BACK AFTER BRAIN INJURY COULD BE DIFFICULT WHEN YOU ARE DYSLEXIC AND/OR HAVE IRLENS!

cognition test - CopyRecently I had a scary event. I had a minor stroke. Luckily I’m fine and with certain changes I should be able to avoid another one. I wasn’t allowed to drive however until I had fully recovered and was able to pass a cognition test. When I went to take the test with my family doctor I discovered something that really concerns me.
I’m dyslexic and certain types of questions on the test were difficult for me. The doctor told me 5 numbers and asked me to remember them in the correct order. I can’t write someone’s phone number down correctly let alone retain 5 numbers. I asked her to repeat them 2 or 3 times and with great effort, I was able to recall them. Next I was given 3 numbers and told to say them backwards. More effort. She gave me a verbal list of things and asked me to repeat them in order. I can’t hang on to a person’s name and am constantly embarrassed after being introduced to people! Then my doctor said 2 long sentences and asked me to repeat them. I can’t remember accurately the names of books I’ve written and depend on copy/paste. Aaarghh!

Another issue for Dyslexics is Irlen’s Syndrome which causes visual distortions when looking at white backgrounds such as paper, whiteboards and computer screens. Research shows roughly 40% of Dyslexics and 20% of the general population experience Irlen’s to varying degrees . Also, after a brain injury Irlen Syndrome can become an issue and a person doesn’t realize it. I imagine Irlen’s could also affect people’s ability to get through one of these cognitive tests and be allowed to drive again.


Fortunately as a dyslexia consultant and tutor, I’ve learned techniques to recall this type of information but it was difficult. I also have Irlen’s moderately but was able to pass this test and get the right to drive again.


I started to think about this required test to drive again and wondered what happens to other dyslexics or those suffering from Irlen Syndrome who have a stroke or other brain injury. What can a person do if they have recovered and can drive but can’t pass these cognition tests due to dyslexia or Irlen’s issues and don’t know to point this out to the doctor testing them?
Something to think about.


For suggestions and accommodations for children struggling with retaining words and improving their reading fluency, I invite you to check out my book “14 Steps to Teach Dyslexics how to Spell and Read” http://www.dyslexiavictoriaonline.com/14-steps-to-teach-dy…/

Dyslexia Victoria Online’s Approach to Teaching Spelling to Dyslexics

Dyslexics Learning to SpellSpelling is the most difficult skill for the right brain but it is the most important. More time should be given to spelling and building a reading and writing vocabulary than any other learning skills.

The Dyslexia Victoria Online Approach to learning to spell is through “drawing” words and understanding them in wholes, not in their separate parts or separate letters or phonic sounds.

It provides an easy method for changing the concrete picture images formed in the right brain into letters and words (the language of the left brain) and then sending them to the left brain for use in thinking and analyzing.

Training should begin with using concrete word images that form whole pictures.  The right brain easily understands word images as it sees and understands the world in wholes: whole sentences, whole paragraphs, whole essays, whole stories, whole lessons, whole concepts and whole assignments. The right brain understands word images it can turn into pictures in the mind’s eye.

We start with learning what a concrete image is and what letters represent. Then we work with concrete words from a story that describe strong images familiar to the student such as pictures of a horse, a man, a child, a house, a barn, an animal, and object such as a table, a book, ruler, eraser, car, truck, box, etc. When the pattern of a concrete object, sound of its name and a concrete word image are understood, we move on to abstract words that are needed for putting sentences together such as  and, for, too, which, why, who because, through, under, beneath, second, third, although, however, whole, whenever, rather, everything, etc.

For more information about Dyslexia and our teaching solutions check out our website at: www.dyslexiavictoria.ca

If you have questions we would love to hear your feedback!  You can email me at:  khope@dyslexiavictoria.ca

Karey Hope deGraaf
Co-founder of Dyslexia Victoria Online

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