What if I was to tell you that being dyslexic actually has a number of advantages. Would you believe me? While it may seem like a constant struggle for your child as they navigate their way through school, dyslexia is thought by many successful professionals to be their unique gift; the thing that sets them apart and the dyslexia strengths often outweigh the struggles. Click here for a list of famous dyslexic people to inspire your child.
Change your mindset
Changing our mindset is so important when learning to live with dyslexia. While struggles with reading, writing and spelling do affect everyday life, it does not need to prevent your child from achieving anything. With the right support, every child with dyslexia can thrive and by focusing on these dyslexia strengths rather than their struggles, your child’s confidence will soar.
Many people with dyslexia are right-brain dominant and this impacts the way they see and respond to the world around them. To start with, those with dyslexia generally see the big picture; they aren’t fazed by the trivial details that stop others from progressing. They are often holistic thinkers which leads to a far more open and creative approach to problem solving – and life in general!
10 dyslexia strengths (super powers for younger kids)
- Always see the bigger picture. As mentioned above, people with dyslexia are holistic thinkers. This gives them a unique view of the world and is perfect for certain careers such as design and architecture. Click here for a detailed list of some of the best careers for people with dyslexia.
- Finding the pattern. The ability to see how certain things connect or how different systems are formed comes easily to many with dyslexia. Identifying common characteristics and similarities among a multitude of things is also a skill many dyslexics possess. Anything where visual representations form the key to solutions will come naturally. It is common for them to see patterns where no one else can. People with dyslexia tend to think in pictures instead of words and as such, will have heightened picture recognition memory. See dyslexia through the eyes of a child here.
- Identifying odd ones out. Visual processing is one of the strongest skills a person with dyslexia has. They can often spot ‘the odd one out’ in all areas of life from childhood puzzles to complex scientific studies. It once again comes down to the way they see the world.
- A great memory and narrative reasoning. By this I mean that many dyslexics recall facts in a unique way – as if they are telling a good story. They don’t simply produce a list of data. This is known as narrative reasoning. This is a typical skill used to improve memory – something dyslexic people possess already. Despite struggling with reading, they have the ability to analyse all stories that are being told or read to them. Many can follow the plot, character development and all the twists and turns better than those without dyslexia. This is due to the way their brain processes language.
- Excellent spatial knowledge. Can you imagine being able to manipulate 3D images in your mind? Welcome to the mind of a dyslexic. A study conducted by the University of East London showed that young dyslexics are far better at remembering a virtual environment than non-dyslexics – perhaps this is why so many of the world’s top architects and designers have dyslexia.
- Increased peripheral vision. It is not widely known, but people with dyslexia generally have better peripheral vision than most. This is, in part, why they often see the whole picture. The can quickly take in a scene and understand what is going on far quicker than most.
- Amazing conversationalists. For many with dyslexia, interacting with others comes easy. Many are incredibly insightful when it comes to reading people. They quickly understand the needs of others and are often great storytellers.
- Incredibly empathetic. Following on from point 7, many people with dyslexia are very sincere. They have excellent empathy skills and read situations perfectly. They will often say exactly what is needed at the right time.
- Extremely creative. Many famous actors, artists and designers are dyslexic. This could be due to their heightened creative abilities and amazing use of their imagination. The live in a world of images and colour. Isn’t that quite the wonderful world? A great example of an artist using dyslexia to their advantage is Picasso. He painted as he saw things – in his own unique way; upside down, out of order, backwards and often brimming with colour.
- Thinking outside the box. For me, this is possibly the most important strength of all. The unorthodox approach to problems opens doors that so many of us never quite manage to get through. What can often seem like daydreaming is actually allowing the brain to switch into neutral and connect the dots. Rather than using sequential thinking, a person with dyslexia will figure different issues out simultaneously and find different ways to solve problems rather than using a linear approach. This is why so many successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. They think outside the box and see the whole picture, often using the perfect balance of critical and abstract thinking. In today’s ever changing world, this ability will take them far. Originality, honesty, empathy and bigger thinking is the key to being a leader and not a follower! In fact, one in three American entrepreneurs have dyslexia and they join the ranks of Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Richard Branson!
Please do contact me if you’d like to discuss any of these dyslexia strengths or if you have your own story of success in the face of such obstacles.
There is so much for us all still to learn about dyslexia. However, changing our mindset about how it will shape our children’s lives is one of the first things we should do. Whether you are just starting out on your dyslexia journey, or are part way through, you will find these posts on all aspects of dyslexia extremely useful.