Dyslexia is a fascinating thing. It is classified as a learning disability, but the interesting part is, that really isn’t the full picture. Dyslexia is a different way of processing. The brain literally works differently from a non-dyslexic brain. You can actually see it on an MRI. Dyslexia does make some basic things like reading and basic math challenging, along with other things such as maybe learning to tie your shoes. However, that is only one side of the coin.
What I find fascinating is that along with these struggles also come advantages. There are things the dyslexic brain tends to be very good at, such as engineering, big-picture thinking, architecture, storytelling. The list is quite interesting. It, of course, varies by person, however with the struggles come the advantages. Dyslexia does not impact intellect, unlike a learning disability typically does/should.
As you all know I am a big proponent of working hard and pushing past struggles. I do believe anything is possible if you are willing to do the work and with dyslexia, I think it is especially true. People with dyslexia for years have not received the support they deserve or need. These are the people who are often called stupid or lazy in class, but that is far from the case.
The problem with that is what happens when someone starts to believe they are stupid. And what happens when someone starts to believe these negative things before they are able to find their talents? It can be heartbreaking and has led to some pretty astounding statistics. Did you know that stats say that 50% of youth in the juvenile correction system has some type of dyslexia or learning disability? Of course, this just carries into adulthood and prison. That is what happens when people are not given the tools or support to push through.
You know what happens when people with dyslexia do push through? They become 35% of the entrepreneurs in the world. That is right 35% of entrepreneurs have dyslexia. In addition, 40% of self-made millionaires have dyslexia. Did you know Dyslexia is referred to as the MIT Disease?
I can’t begin to address everything I would like to related to dyslexia in this one post, which is why I plan to set up a dyslexia corner on my site. The fact is, it is a complex thing and way more complicated than the common perception that dyslexia is nothing more than mixing up b and d. It really does bring with it some difficult struggles. But think about this, people who have severe dyslexia are able to push through and become amazing successes. What impact could we have on poverty, on the crime rates, on our future generations if we could figure out how to help all people with dyslexia push through?
For those who are interested in learning more about dyslexia here are some excellent resources:
How Much Do You Know About Dyslexia, Richard Branson
The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind | Dean Bragonier | TEDxMarthasVineyard
Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion: Piper Otterbein at TEDxYouth@CEHS
What is dyslexia? – Kelli Sandman-Hurley
10 Things About Dyslexia Every Teacher Needs to Know
Until next time,