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Why Dyslexia Matters

Why does dyslexia matter? Listening to the rain lashing down outside on a cold dark evening I asked myself this question. In my usual dopey fashion, I contemplated this for several days during my many moments of procrastination. My answer was a simple one. Dyslexia matters because it exists.

Dyslexia is a prominent, recognised and diagnosable neurodiversity, affecting roughly ten percent of the global population. This in itself speaks volume. Not only does it show that I like a good statistic, it emphasises how widespread and vastly present dyslexia can be. Because of its prevalence and common-place nature in society, dyslexia has become a cog, a major mechanism and part of human nature. Awareness and knowledge of this ‘neurodiverse component’ is vital in understanding how and why a dyslexic behaves, learns and processes information the way they do. This is one major reasoning for why dyslexia matters.

Secondly, dyslexia matters and is societally important because it affects and influences individuals on a daily basis. These impacts can have both beneficial and detrimental effects that can last a life time. Most notably, dyslexia is a wide ranging neurodiversity. In this way, its positive and negative impacts vary amongst individuals. For example, some struggle more with reading, writing and spelling, whereas others may have more difficulty with memory and organisation. Subsequently, all dyslexics are unique and their own individuals. In a world of over seven billion people life would be boring and repetitive if everyone was identical; presenting with the same personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. Why are these factors and impacts surrounding dyslexics so important? The crucial answer here is support. By identifying these effects dyslexics, their families and surrounding network can receive the tailored support and assistance they are entitled to. Both face-to-face and online support groups an excellent methods of promoting acceptance, friendly discussions and solution making into an often misunderstood, yet highly prominent, community.

Like many topics in life, it is so easy to focus solely on the negative outcomes we see. This cognitive bias should be questioned, challenged and overturned. When one considers dyslexia, this channelled thinking may only reveal the struggles, difficulties and anxiety dyslexic individuals face when presented with tasks they find problematic. This, however, does not tell the full story. Dyslexia is considered by many as a positive factor and even a ‘gift’, as many dyslexics are highly creative thinkers who show great levels of imaginative thought, curiosity and empathy. Even if individuals themselves are not aware of their talents or ‘gift within’, these are still omnipresent for others to see. These often unrecognised and unappreciated talents are another vital reason as to why dyslexia matters. It can be the catalyst for new thoughts and notions that individuals can thrive upon.

Within this shorter more informal style post I hope I have begun to uncover as to why dyslexia is so important in contemporary society. Dyslexia matters because it exists and is part of people’s everyday lives. It makes individuals unique, provides a platform for ‘togetherness’ in support networks and can be the reasoning for remarkable talents amongst individuals. Because of its high importance, dyslexia ought to be widely appreciated, accepted and understood in order to best support dyslexics; allowing them to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

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