Sample Activity: pdbq

Dear Reader,

This is just a sample of the entire activity set to help with letter reversals, one of the common reasons for concern about dyslexia. Download this file: ‘pdbq 24’ – Sample Worksheet. Remember this is only a sample of one activity in the library; for the full  instructions and access to the entire library, you can subscribe to eLVT.

Dr. Boulet

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Introduction: This is a fun, quick and use exercise that you can fit in for a few minutes in between other activities. Do these for at least a few minutes each session until mastered. There are many ways of using these sheets, and a few will be described below. This is very similar to ‘bdpq Sorting’, but is not the same exercise; they work similar skills but have their own emphasis. bdpq Sorting is likely an easier task to begin with and so may be a better place to start for some children.

Purpose: To build spatial orientation and letter detail awareness.

Material/Equipment: The attached worksheets, a pencil or pen.


    • 1. Start with pdbq 24.pdf (24 pt font, larger letters), have the child master the big one, then move on to the smaller letter patterns in order of largest to smallest (18 pt to 10 pt). Be sure the child is wearing any prescribed glasses.


    • 2. The child should scan along each line locating all the p’s. Do this for four to eight lines until you feel the child has mastered this.


    • 3. Proceed to searching for all d’s, then b’s, then q’s. Do a number of lines for each letter until you feel the child can do this easily.



    • 4. Alternate lines. On one line, search for p’s, next line search for d’s, next b’s, next q’s.


    • 5. Then, print the letter to be found next to each line right through a full page of letters.


    • 6. Have the child complete the finding exercise, but time her. Write the time down on the bottom of the page. Have her review each line and find any mistakes (missed letters or letters incorrectly circled.) Write down the number of mistakes beside the time. Compare this to the next attempt of the same sheet.


    • 7. Repeat 2 & 3 for smaller font worksheets.


Load it (Learn about how to ‘load’ an activity.): Try rotating the sheet a quarter turn or half turn.

Load it: Have the child consider each letter in rhythm with a metronome. Going slow can be as useful as going faster. If the child is having trouble focusing attention, try slowing down with perhaps 50 bpm or slower. The client should only consider one letter per click of the metronome. For the capable child, you can speed it up to 120 bpm or more to really challenge them. Try these techniques for both large and small font worksheets.


*Avoid over-doing exercises. Repetitive exercises can quickly become distasteful. The child must be able to focus on the exercise at each sitting, so it is best to limit how much time is spent on pdbq at each lesson. 5-7 minutes well-spent daily over a few weeks is much better than a grueling 45-minute session a few times each week.

*Be sure any prescribed glasses are worn. The child should be sitting erect (see Visual Hygiene) with good lighting.