Article by Steve Wells, Psychologist -  Dyslexia, Reading

Skills, and Comprehension


Dyslexia is a learning disorder

….that manifests itself as a difficulty with reading, spelling and in some cases mathematics. Many people struggle with it their whole life. They experience shame, embarrassment, and frustration in school and are often ridiculed by students and teachers leading them to take on beliefs that they are not intelligent. As adults, they develop strategies to hide their problem yet still experience the frustration and anger of not being able to process information quickly like everyone else.

Some time ago I was giving demonstrations of EFT and was approached by a mother and her daughter. The mother explained that the daughter was dyslexic and that doctors and specialists had told them that it was incurable and that they had spent over $20,000 on her condition over the years. I asked if they would like to experiment with EFT to see if we could get achieve some improvement in a short 15 minute session and the mother gave me permission to work with her daughter.

Let’s call the daughter “Susan”. I first asked Susan if she felt any embarrassment or had experienced any ridicule to do with her condition and, surprisingly, she said “No”. This was great as we could then get straight in to working with her condition. In the few moment I had been speaking with Susan I could tell she was very intelligent and I was keen to see if EFT could help.

I found a book for Susan to read from and asked her what she saw when looking at the page. She responded that she saw “rivers of white running down the page” and that the text didn’t stand out at all. Using the basic wording of EFT I used Susan’s own words with phrasing such as:

“Even though all I see is rivers of white running down the page, I’m still a good kid and I accept myself”

After a few rounds tapping on the “rivers of white” I asked her to look at the page again and see if things had changed. Susan said that the rivers of white weren’t so bad but that she still saw the horizontal white spaces more than the words. So we applied EFT again:

“Even though I’m still seeing the big white lines and spaces, …”

After a few more rounds I asked her to look at the book again. This time she could clearly see the words and I asked her to read a bit. Her reading was jilted and she would go over words haltingly and quite over retrace. I asked her to describe the experience and she said “I have trouble reading words that I can’t picture. Words like ‘cat’ and ‘dog’ are Ok but words like ‘the’ and ‘and’ have no pictures.” So we added that in to the next round of tapping.

“Even though I have trouble with words that don’t have pictures, …”

After a few more rounds I asked her to read again. This time her reading was quite smooth and there was very little retracing. I wanted to check her comprehension as well and asked her to close the book and explain what she had read. Susan was able to give a basic explanation of what she had just read and was excited and surprised at how easy it was.

At this stage, Susan’s mother returned and I asked Susan to read to her to demonstrate her progress. Susan’s mother was very surprised that we had achieved so much progress in just 15 minutes.

What surprised me though was that, even after the progress achieved in just 15 minutes of EFT, the family never contacted me for further sessions after demonstrating such amazing results. Notes on my approach:

I did not at any time try to use logic to explain what Susan should have been seeing. I simply used her observations of what she saw to tap on. I also had no specific outcome of what I wanted Susan to achieve I simple checked in after each round to EFT to confirm what had and hadn’t changed. I find not having an agenda leaves an open space for clients to share whatever is going on for them versus what you think they should be experiencing.


I have done heaps of work with “dyslexia” over the past 12 years. I feel it is important to realize that whilst the tapping therapy will enable the person to be in the right state for learning, clear away any blocks, maybe even allow them to tap into the right areas of their brain and to take the information in better, they still most often require appropriate instruction on how our language system works – I have used EFT recently with a couple of kids in conjunction with appropriate instruction with great success.

The primary cause of “dyslexia

in my country (Australia) and yours is, I believe, the result of our children not being taught how to decode words. More research has probably been done on this than any other area in education and yet our educators continue to use inferior methods hoisted on them by powerful vested interests.

Teach kids that words have parts, and instruct them fully in the sounds and sound combinations together with how to combine these, and NO MORE DYSLEXIA. I have proved this hundreds of times with kids designated unteachable.

However, the task is always harder with older kids because they have such negative emotions associated with reading. Here is where EFT can help in a big way. EFT, combined with appropriate instruction in the rules of our language system – there’s the correct combination!


Steve Wells

More from Steve Wells….

Further to my last post, I’d like to tell you about my experience a couple of days ago with a 10 year old boy. I had worked with him successfully to improve his reading by having his mother and a tutor teach him phonics over 4 months. In this time, his reading comprehension improved 23 months on a standardized reading test, and his word attack skills improved by 15 months. I should point out that results like these are not unusual once children are taught using a phonics approach.

The problem however, was that although this boy was performing better and everyone had noticed it, he still didn’t feel real good about reading. What these kids often say is that they find reading “boring”. Having learned EFT since I first worked with him, I decided to use a little in our last session.

We tapped on the “boring feeling” and he noticeably relaxed, but the best thing was that he slowed down and read the words much more accurately. See, the frustrating thing before this was that he tended to read much too quickly, thus blending together inaccurately words which we knew he was capable of reading as he knew all the sound combinations within them. Seeing the bigger words tended to bring up his old anxiety feelings about reading, and when in this state he tended to rush things and thus read inaccurately. His new relaxed state was very noticeable, and I have now encouraged his mother to have him tap before each of their home reading sessions.

Here is where I think EFT will excel in education – by removing the emotional impediments to learning. There are stacks and stacks of kids out there whose emotional states are getting in the way of their learning – I know, I spent 5 years working with the most disturbed of them when working within the education system. What a boon EFT would have been then.

Let me say again, though, that EFT will not fully make up for poor instruction. It might help to make it more bearable however, and save the child from the emotional harm, and damage to their self image which can often accompany this.

Steve Wells