Dyslexia actually has some advantages…

Fancy that now….so there is actually a sugar coating to the misery of depression, poor self esteem and lack of self confidence, general under-achievement and serious anger issues that I like many other dyslexic have been left with thanks to our unpleasant brush with formal education. (I’m not including University in this, my uni experiences are almost all highly positive.)

Quite a few dyslexia-positive sites will give lists of the numerous advantages we have but I found the best summary at Dyslexia Advantage, they’d even got a nice acroynm for it, MIND. Apparently your avarage dyslexic won’t exhibit all of these traits but will definitely have one, maybe two if they’re lucky.

Material Reasoning – Reasoning about the position, form and movement of objects in 3d space.

I’ve heard some people describe having video screens in their minds. Personally it’s more like I’ve got an entire film studio complete with multilpe stage sets, lighting and atmospheric control, a few crew, actors, everything you can imagine…and all of it I can manipulate at the drop of a hat.

Interconected Reasoning The ability to spot, understand and reason about connections and relationships.

Absolutely essential for true creative thinking, out-of-the-box creativity. Take two unrelated and apparently incompatible things and put them together in new and interesting ways…and probably why writing cross-over fanfiction really appeals to some people. I will admit it I read things and then think “oh but this would be brilliant crossed with…” Things just click together in new and exciting ways.

Narrative Reasoning Ability to reason using fragments of memory formed from past personal experience.

I’m not sure I quite understand this one, I’m pretty certain I don’t do this.  At all.

Dynamic ReasoningAbility to accurately predict using patterns derived through experincing the future or the unwitnessed past.

Apart from sounding like clairvoyance I suspect that this one is probably very useful for business and the like, being able to think several moves ahead of everyone around you, or how about playing chess…

 

It’s so hard to explain dyslexia when you actually have it…

…the best description I’ve come across is on the British Dyslexia Accosiation website.

Everybody of course understands it as difficulties with reading and writing, maybe maths as well; though it is increadibly irritating the number of people who automatically assume this means I have no functional literacy skills, especially when it turns out my spelling is better than theirs, which happens more often than you’d think.

It’s the other less obvious and less will known problems that dyslexics share with many others with what are termed Specific Learning Difficulties…

Information Processing.

  • Difficulties with taking in information efficiently (this could be written or auditory).
  • Slow speed of information processing, such as a ‘penny dropping’ delay between hearing something and understanding and responding to it.

Memory.

  • Poor short term memory for facts, events, times, dates.
  • Poor working memory; i.e. difficulty holding on to several pieces of information while undertaking a task e.g. taking notes as you listen, coping with compound questions.
  • Mistakes with routine information e.g. giving your age or the ages of your children.
  • Inability to hold on to information without referring to notes.

Communication skills.

  • Lack of verbal fluency and lack of precision in speech.
  • Word-finding problems.
  • Inability to work out what to say quickly enough.
  • Misunderstandings or misinterpretations during oral exchanges.
  • Over-loud speech (which may come across as aggressive) or murmuring that cannot be clearly heard.
  • Sometimes mispronunciations or a speech impediment may be evident.

Literacy.

  • Lateness or difficulty in acquiring reading and writing skills. Some dyslexic adults have severe literacy problems and may be functionally illiterate.
  • Where literacy has been mastered, residual problems generally remain such as erratic spelling, difficulty extracting the sense from written material, difficulty with unfamiliar words, an inability to scan or skim text.
  • Particular difficulty with unfamiliar types of language such as technical terminology, acronyms.

Sequencing, Organisation and Time Management.

  • Difficulty presenting a sequence of events in a logical, structured way.
  • Incorrect sequencing of number and letter strings.
  • Tendency to misplace items; chronic disorganisation.
  • Poor time management: particular difficulties in estimating the passage of time.

Direction and Navigation.

  • Difficulty with finding the way to places or navigating the way round an unfamiliar building.

Concentration.

  • Weak listening skills, a limited attention span, problems maintaining focus.
  • A tendency to be easily distracted, inability to remain focused.

Sensory Sensitivity.

  • A heightened sensitivity to noise and visual stimuli.
  • Impaired ability to screen out background noise or movement.
  • Sensations of mental overload / switching off.

Lack of awareness.

  • Failure to realise the consequences of their speech or actions.
  • Failure to take account of body language.
  • Missing the implications of what they are told or interpreting it over-literally.

(Quoted from bdadyslexia.org.uk)

Not all of these apply to me but many of them do unfortunately; parts of Sequencing, Organisation and Time Management haunt me constantly. I still have difficulties reading clocks especially when I’m tired or stressed, which can be extremely embarrasing. Lack of awareness is also a problem in many ways, it’s not that I mean to set out to upset or unnerve people but apparently my sense of humour isn’t always appreciated, and as for facial expressions, they’re pretty meaningless to me. And that’s before we get onto the fun part about getting lost in the town centre I’ve known all my life…

If there had just been greater understanding of this when I was a child my school experinece would have been rather diffrent from the bleak depression laden black-hole of bullying that it was, and wouldn’t that have been nice.