The first thing to remember about dyslexia is that it is a difference – not a disability.
Some of the most intelligent and successful people on the planet have dyslexia. Nobody would call Bill Gates, John Britten or Richard Branson disabled, but they certainly all have dyslexia.
Yes, most people with dyslexia have challenges with text – reading, writing, and spelling, but dyslexia also comes with an amazing array of skills and talents.
The aim for people with dyslexia and their families is to minimise the challenges and to leverage the skills and talents.
Minimizing the challenges
Many of the difficulties with reading, writing, and spelling can be overcome with clever technology. Much of the technology is free and located on the average smart phone. People can send correctly spelled texts and emails using the “voice to text” function on phones. That also works if you want to take notes using the “Notes” function.
For only a modest amount of money – Apps such as “Dyslexia Aid”, or “Easy Spelling” can be installed on your smart phone. Yes, Suri can be very useful as well.
For those people who do not like technology a simple notebook, with the correct spellings of all the key works that an individual uses can be a great help. Many people with dyslexia are able to recognise the correct spelling if they are presented with it but would struggle to spell it from scratch.
A relatively recent piece of technology that has changed many people’s lives is the C-Pen Reading Pen. It costs around $400.00. If you wipe the Reading Pen across a line of text on a sheet of paper it will read it to you. For people with dyslexia who need to write reports and send emails there is a clever piece of technology called Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon allows the user to dictate directly into a laptop and the words appear on the screen in front of the user.
Leveraging the skills and talents of the dyslexic mind
Many people with dyslexia are unaware of their own personal set of skills and talents that come with their condition. Here are a few: –
Superior visual, spatial, and 3-D skills, creativity and innovation, great problem-solving skills, able to see relationships, connections, and patterns that others do not see. Many are very empathetic, and many dyslexic people have entrepreneurial skills.
A good place to begin to realise your own special set of skills is to get a dyslexia diagnosis or screening. That is the first step in understanding your own profile of challenges and talents.
Accessing quality information is a good way to move forward. The most important thing to remember is that you are different – not disabled. A detailed conversation with somebody very close to you will assist you to understand your own unique set of skills. By taking charge of your dyslexia you can improve your life considerably – as well as the lives of those around you.
Hidden Talents Dyslexia Consultant