27.10.13

The Good Side of Dyslexia


Dyslexia -- the word itself is difficult to read. But dyslexia has an upside, like many things that get the bad stamp, this "learning disorder" should be redefined to include the positive side.

I have a son with dyslexia. I also have a hubby with dyslexia. I am relieved that research is finding a gifted side for those with dyslexia. My husband has always claimed that he can see the big picture in difficult engineering tasks. True, he suffered in the reading department as a child, especially since no one recognized it as dyslexia. Many kids were made to feel stupid or slow. Many still feel that way. But they shouldn't. They are gifted in other ways.

The word "Dyslexia" comes from the German root dys (difficult) + Greek lexis (speech)

It's a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. (p, d and b all look the same). It's like looking at a chair, held upside down, lifted into the air. No matter which way it is held, it's still a chair. That's why the p, d and b all look the same to the dyslexic. 


It has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, many have a high IQ and are gifted in the arts and sciences. Look at the likes of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Leonardo de Vinci. 

Here's the good news:

Research has found that people with dyslexia have an enhanced peripheral vision; it's called absorbing the "visual gist". They see images in the periphery that are missed by regular people.


This gift enables the dyslexic to solve difficult images faster (like the images of Escher, that depicts impossible pictures of stairs or flowing
 water). 


Another study found that graduate students with dyslexia can learn and make use of difficult astronomical images whereas non-dyslexic students were unable to catch on. They concluded that dyslexics may be superior learners. 
Dyslexics also tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average. They tend to be highly aware of the environment, inventive, and good at real world tasks. Their special mode of thought also produces the gift of mastery: once they have learned something experientially, they understand it on such a deep level that they know how to do things intuitively without thinking about how. (ref)
Some parents of dyslexic kids didn't appreciate this new discovery, mainly because of the struggle to help their kids learn to read. (New York Times) From my perspective, public schools are not adept at teaching kids with dyslexia, and that's one reason I homeschooled my son. I worked with him for years, using many different programs, and we avoided all scenarios of failure. And we had success. And now I can appreciate his other talents of creativity and visual gist. See the available programs we used for dyslexia here.

2 comments:

  1. I'm sooooo glad I stumbled across your blog!! I'm a mom of 3 kiddos 6, 4 and 18 months. I also have my teaching degree and teach an at home preschool. I to am dyslexic and have a story similar to your husbands. I was just put in the "special reading" class as a kid, but it wasn't until the end of my highschool days that we figured out I'm dyslexic. I'm the oldest of 5 so my poor mom just didn't really give me the time I needed. I have always worked with my son with reading since he was little. He picked up his ABCs and the sounds pretty well but I then noticed he was having a hard time remebering simple sight words and sounding things out. I didn't want to push him because he also gets really frustrated when he is struggling with something. He is almost 7 and still not reading and I'm embarrassed to admit that it didn't dawn on me that he could be dyslexic until a few months ago :( Ever since I had that prompting I have noticed he has alot of the same struggles I had as a child and still as an adult. I have been researching reading programs for dyslexia and that is when I came across your blog. :) I'm very excited to try some of these things and hopefully help him the way he needs. :) Thank you so much for the post :)

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you followed that prompting. I know how it just starts to dawn on you, that maybe your child is dyslexic. He was my last kid, and I was not expecting it at all. I tell my husband that I had this last child to help me better understand him (my hubby). I think my son reads better than most kids now, and has no fear of reading aloud. He is super creative too. He wrote and produced a little batman movie and put it up on youtube for a competition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYXhCS6720

      So, there is an upside, but boy, did I work with him to read! It paid off though. It also took 3 summers for him to learn how to swim!

      My husband still has to use a bookmark to follow the words as he reads -- or the cursor if he is on the computer.

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