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The Dyslexia advantage

At Solihull Dyslexia Centre, we identify learning strengths as well as learning difficulties to boost self-esteem and suggest efficient learning strategies.

The traditional view is that dyslexia is a disability that has a negative impact.
This stems from the medical model of disability; there is something intrinsically “wrong” with the individual that leads to disadvantages in life, and we should try to cure the person. However, there is no “cure” for dyslexia. Many have instead adopted the social model, making a distinction between “impairment” and “disability”.
A person may have a difference in their physical or psychological features (impairments), but they are only “disabled” because society is not properly adapted to take account of their impairments. You may wish to explore www.neurodiversity.com or www.danda.org.uk to find out more.

Some dyslexia benefits are explained in “The Gift of Dyslexia. Why Some of the Smartest People Can't Read and How They Can Learn.” Ronald D. Davis with Eldon M.Braun. (Perigee Books, Revised and Expanded Edition, 2010). The website at www.dyslexia.com states: Dyslexic people are highly creative, intuitive, and excel at three-dimensional problem solving and hands-on learning. Our visual and holistic learning style means that we learn best through the creative process, with methods that focus on mastery of the meanings of words and symbols. The true gift of dyslexia is the gift of mastery. When we use learning methods that fit our thinking style, we can excel in academics and read and write efficiently.”

A recent book called “The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the potential of the dyslexic brain” (Brock, L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide, Hay House, 2011) suggests that the dyslexic brain is “wired” differently and this leads to a set of advantages.
The dyslexic brain develops differently and dyslexic people approach problem-solving in a different way. Four dyslexic advantages that have enabled great success in a range of areas are explored:

Material Reasoning-"about the shape, size, motion, position, or orientation in space of physical objects, and the way those objects interact".

Interconnecting Reasoning-"how objects, ideas, events or experiences are related to each other, either by "likeness" or "togetherness".

Narrative Reasoning-"the ability to construct a connected series of "mental scenes" from past experiences that can be used to recall the past, explain the present, stimulate potential future or imaginary scenarios, and grasp and test important concepts".

Dynamic Reasoning-"to accurately predict past or future states when components are variable or ambiguous and for making "best fit" predictions in settings where precise answers aren't possible".

You can find out more at www.dyslexicadvantage.com

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