There is much to admire about those belonging to the dyslexic community. Sadly, we so often hear of dyslexics, and other members of the neurodiverse population, being ‘written off’, underrated and disrespected because of their neurodivergence. Because of the negative connotations commonly associated with dyslexia, dyslexic individuals can wrongly be perceived and assumed as less able, lazy, or even a liability.
Within this latest instalment, I cut ties with these negative and damaging assumptions and focus purely and solely on why dyslexics should and ought to be admired and held in high regard in modern day life.
· Dyslexia is a lifelong neurodiversity or ‘difference’ which impacts individuals every single day. It takes guts and tremendous inner strength to cope, manage and live with a neurodiversity; of which can make many daily tasks and necessities a struggle. Despite this, dyslexics can excel at school, work, within social relations and continue to be highly valuable, skilled and fulfilled citizens.
· Many dyslexics possess unique, individualised ‘gifts’, which can be harnessed, enhanced and focused upon. Work by Davis (2010) emphasises that dyslexics have the ability to master particular skills or talents. In this way, individuals hold a natural ability and aptitude for a subject(s) or skills, in which information is easily and unconsciously absorbed. These naturally occurring gifts can be numerous ranging from: cooking/baking, entrepreneurship, artistry, creative writing and high levels of emotional intelligence, empathy and willingness to help others alongside many many more (Discussing The Dyslexic Brain, 2020). Dyslexics may not always knowingly be aware of their own exceptional skills or talents. Crucially, however, this does not stop them from existing.
· Frequently occurring in dyslexics is an uncanny ability to think ‘outside the box’ and to excel in creative, imaginative and innovative thinking. Designing, building, fixing, constructing, recognising sequences or solving problems (British Dyslexia Association: See Dyslexia Differently) can all be the basis and grassroots of where many dyslexics’ strengths lie.
· A willingness and desire to improve, take on board constructive feedback and work on personal weaknesses. Even more crucially and poignantly, often these can be perceived weaknesses that others themselves may not see. Dyslexics are highly accomplished at creating, experimenting with and developing their own coping strategies to help deal with and break down more challenging tasks into easier to manage chunks. Many styles and strategies can be tried and tested over time in order to pinpoint the best format which best suits ones learning style. Vitally, this can require a huge amount of patience and readiness for self-discovery, in relation to one’s own strengths, weaknesses and preferred learning methods.
· Resilience, the inner strength and ability to stay strong after a set back and staying motivated are terms often used or heard when discussing dyslexics and neurodivergents. Being able to manage negative emotions and thoughts of feeling inadequate, less intelligent and even a fraud, referred to as the Imposter Syndrome (British Psychological Society, 2010) are excellent abilities to possess to boost ones psychological wellbeing. Dyslexics can often be considered as holding high levels of emotional resilience because of the extra challenges and stressors they face in their daily lives (Discussing The Dyslexic Brain, 2021). Due to this increased potential of hurdles or barriers the need for positive, resilient thoughts and actions can be heightened.
· Finally, much admiration must also be accredited to dyslexics for dealing and managing with the societal stigma, taboo and negative connotations or attachments that can wrongly or incorrectly be associated with dyslexia. Although awareness and understanding of dyslexia within the public domain is on the rise, mislead and reductionist views around dyslexia can still exist. Yet despite this, it is wonderful, inspiring and really liberating to see so many dyslexics wanting to share their own personal stories of living day in day out with dyslexia in order to further raise awareness and knowledge of the neurodiverse world.
As has been explored, there are numerous reasons why dyslexics should be strongly admired in modern day life. As dyslexics think, process and decode information differently to others fantastic new opportunities for learning and discovery can arise. Although this isn’t a full or completely exhaustive list it provides a great ‘starting taste’ and inclination into the admirable characteristics that exist within dyslexics.
British Dyslexia Association: See Dyslexia Differently Video
Davis, R, D. (2010). (3rd ed). The Gift of Dyslexia: Why some of the Brightest People can’t Read and how they Learn. London: Souvenir Press Ltd.
Discussing The Dyslexic Brain (November, 2020) Dyslexia and Emotional Intelligence
Discussing The Dyslexic Brain (May, 2021) Recharging Resilience
For a background into the Imposter Syndrome:
The British Psychological Society: Feeling like a Fraud (2010)