An interesting, unique and potentially peculiar feature, all humans possess their very own ‘quirks’, habits and personality traits. Crucially, these idiosyncrasies are what make us all different and are part of who we are. Naturally, this is very much applicable to dyslexia. As emphasised in a previous blog post, all dyslexics are distinctive and their own individual. Although individuals may share some characteristics, each hold differing combinations of temperament, dispositions, personal interests, strengths, weaknesses and skillsets to name a few. In addition to this, all dyslexics present with differing dyslexics signs, symptoms and indicators (The Dyslexic Variation, 2020); of which can vary greatly from one day to the next.
In a more light-hearted affair, on this occasion I wish to focus on and discuss some of these ‘distinctive elements’ or dyslexic quirks. These include some of the weird and wonderful ways dyslexia can show its face and impact and effect ones daily life and routine. In this sense, it will provide a gateway and small insight into the dyslexic world. It is crucial to note that this will not be an exhaustive complete list of all dyslexic quirks, as not all dyslexics portray the same traits and/or quirks. The examples listed below include quirks I have recognised from talking to other dyslexics, have read about during research and potentially noticed in myself. Some are common amongst the dyslexic population, and may be highly relatable. Others are very useful, beneficial and, depending on the situation, are potentially quite comical and amusing.
· Forgetting the names of random objects, events and even people. Instead, referring to them as the ‘the thingy’, the ‘what do you call it’ or ‘that guy we met the other day’.
· Possessing an extensive knowledge, interest and curiosity in a variety of subjects or topics. Whether it be true crime, Marvel, astronomy, the Harry Potter wizarding world or human Psychology, being immersed in a hobby or topic we find fascinating can be extremely fulfilling.
· Confusing the same words repeatedly when reading or writing, such as from/form, angel/angle, who/how and center/centre.
· Surprising even yourself when you remember something obscure that no one else does. Often I find it may be the most random or bizarre fact, figure or occurrence.
· Having creativity and artistic flair in abundance. These creative sparks can present themselves in a multitude of areas within a dyslexic, such as designing, drawing or painting, baking and/or cooking, writing, including stories, creative writing or more formal articles, and performing alongside many, many others.
· Being very clumsy or accident prone. Although this trait can be more commonly associated with dyspraxia, there remains to be numerous overlaps and interconnections in the symptomology amongst dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.
· When words escape you and pointing is the next option. Sometimes I find that some words needed in a moment or point in time just physically don’t want to come out. Instead, for example, I end up pointing left rather than say “turn left”, or picking up and pointing to the kettle rather than asking others “would you like a hot drink”?
· Having highly difficult to read handwriting, often referred to as ‘doctors handwriting’. Crucially this is not present in all dyslexics (although this is often incorrectly assumed), nor does one need to be dyslexic or neurodiverse to have hard to read and decoded handwriting.
· Presenting with excellent and desirable traits of perseverance, resilience and motivation; even when faced with adversity and difficult tasks or situations. It is well documented that many dyslexics develop these positive psychological characteristics in order to manage their dyslexia and assist them to pursue their personal life goals and endeavours.
As has been explored, all dyslexic individuals have differing quirks or distinctive features that stem from their dyslexia. Only a small list has been outlined within this post, as many, many more exist out there amongst the dyslexic community. Despite this, the aim of this particular blog entry was to provide an introduction and ‘platform for thought’ regarding the differing and various traits, characteristics and quirks a dyslexic can possess. Ultimately, this emphasises how vast and complex dyslexia can be.
For further insight and explanation into the variation and different ways dyslexia can manifest itself, check out this previous post linked below:
Discussing The Dyslexic Brain (2020). The Dyslexic Variation, https://www.discussingthedyslexicbrain.com/post/the-dyslexic-variation
For a good overview of dyslexic characteristics and quirks: