“So, are you dyslexic?”
This been a question that I have experienced a lot over the past few months whilst working on and presenting my personal project for my final year. It is always followed with a “Yes, but…”.
There are many different definitions of dyslexia. My issue with these definitions is the use of the phrase “learning difficulty”. The implication that there is a struggle and I have to work extra hard. The main problem is that it focuses on the negative side, when all that it means is people with dyslexia have a different way of thinking.
This attitude is one I have. Knowing that my thought processes were different from those without these “difficulties”, was in my eyes, always seen as an advantage. Something I have noticed however, is how different my view on my dyslexia is to other peoples’. Some let others tell them when they needed help, and didn’t take charge of how they learned. They referred to themselves as stupid or thick. They were defeatist and resigned themselves to not being able to push forward to improve their performance. Learning, if you are dyslexic or not, is an individual process and everyone has their own methods. If all dyslexia is a different approach to learning then, why do so many people see it as the metaphorical brick wall?
Image by Roseanna Clare
Creative subjects at university appear to have a higher percentage of dyslexic students when compared to the national average. There is a good reason for this, and it is all to do with how dyslexics are wired differently. This is where we get into the advantages of the wonderful condition, because they outweigh all the hurdles. Firstly, dyslexics are visual thinkers. This means that while everyone else has verbal dialogues and see words or hear an internal voice. We for the most create images in our minds. It is like our own movie playing over when we read books or hear people tell stories. I know I have always done this. The only disadvantage of that is when a film comes out of whatever novel I consumed, it is nothing like how I saw it in my mind. Secondly, due to pictorial navigators we can visually and see things in three dimensions and because of this it makes us fast thinkers. I consider myself as a visual problem solver and an out of the box thinker, something I put down to my dyslexia.
I promoted dyslexia as a positive for my personal project to make those without it envious. Are you envious? You should be! The thing about dyslexia is that the advantages outweigh the negatives. I want the world to know the positives so that when dyslexic’s are asked “So, are you dyslexic?”, they can respond with a smile and a proud “Yes.”
Written by Catriona Maciver firstname.lastname@example.org