Standing before a room of conference attendees, I read the LONG list of the common signs of dyslexia. This list generally focuses on areas in which a dyslexic struggles. Because people with dyslexia have average to above-average intelligence, it is exactly these unexpecteddeficits that stand out and so are commonly referred to as the ‘signs of dyslexia’.
As a homeschool conference speaker, I am thrilled to be able to help educate and encourage families who are teaching kids with dyslexia. However, often times by the time these parents get to me, they are beyond frustrated and hearing the long list of a dyslexic’s deficits can be overwhelming.
Good news! There is a growing trend to diagnose and identify people with dyslexia by their strengths. This new view of dyslexia is founded on the idea that the brains of people who are dyslexic are simply wired differently. While these differences can look a lot like a disability in the early years of school – while trying to master reading, writing and spelling – once dyslexics come to know, understand and work with their strengths they often do very well, not despite their dyslexia, but because of their dyslexia.
Dyslexic brains are organized in a way that makes making big picture connections strong, at the expense of weaknesses in processing fine details. Dyslexic brains are especially good at putting together big pictures, or seeing larger context, or imagining how processes will play out over time.
- Often highly creative
- Can easily grasp new concepts
- See patterns, connections and similarities that others don’t see
- Excellent at solving puzzles
- Holistic: they see the big picture, don’t get lost in details, get to the important aspects
- Excellent comprehension of stories read or told to them
- Strong reasoning skills
- Understand abstract ideas
- Inclination to think outside the box
These strengths lend themselves nicely into these careers.
- Software design