This week is Dyslexia Week, an annual event to help people become more aware of dyslexia and how it affects others.
According to the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), more than a tenth of us have dyslexia. A fact I find remarkably interesting as I explore the possibility that no 1 son may be dyslexic in some way.
Often referred to as a reading disability (RD), dyslexia is still poorly understood. The BDA describes the condition as a learning difference which primarily affects reading and writing skills but ultimately is about information processing. It is the case that a dyslexic person can put a huge amount of effort into a literacy exercise only to find out that it is not up to scratch causing the person to decrease in confidence, feel ‘stupid’ and learn that no amount of effort will ever be good enough.
However, do not be fooled into thinking that this neurological difference is all about negatives. Ronald D. Davis points out in his 1995 book ‘The Dyslexic Reader’: “Before the invention of written language, dyslexia didn’t exist. People with the gift of dyslexia were probably the custodians of oral history because of their excellent ability to memorize and transmit the spoken word.”
The more I read about the dyslexic brain, the more I am convinced that rather than being a disadvantage it is a super-power! Davis points out that dyslexics have a heightened perception aswell as being able to formulate mental concepts faster than other people. They also excel in various areas such as invention, the arts, mathematics, architecture and engineering.
Did you know that Albert Einstein was dyslexic? Other highly influential dyslexic people are George Washington, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Leonardo DaVinci, Steven Spielberg and Richard Branson, to name but a few. In fact, when Richard Branson was asked by Time magazine whether dyslexia hindered his business abilities he replied:
“Strangely, I think my dyslexia has helped.”
Not all super-heroes wear capes and I believe that our dyslexic children struggling to grow up in an education system predominantly based around literacy skills will show us how their resilient, out of the box, super-power way of thinking will continue to shape our world in the future. #DyslexiaCreates