Did you know that somewhere between 5% – 10% of the population have some form of dyslexia? No, neither did I.
Did you also know that Richard Branson, Robin Williams, Keira Knightley & Albert Einstein are all known to have or have had dyslexia?
I also didn’t know that I was dyslexic until Alex, my son was tested. But then even he didn’t know he was dyslexic until college.
So, let’s take a step back in time. At school I struggled with taking notes and writing in general. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say I hated taking notes, writing and reading. Now that’s not to say that I can’t spell or string sentences together and I can even write a pretty good letter or email when I put my mind to it. Hell, I can even write the odd blog post if I’m tasked at doing so and/or I’m in the right mind to put pen to paper, or should I say fingertips to keyboard these days! But, it doesn’t come naturally and I do struggle with which way up or down ‘sticks’ should go when writing ‘p’, ‘d’, ‘f’ & ‘q’. I also have to think which way round a capital ‘E’ needs to go and which way round the number ‘3’ should be. It never occurred to me that I might be dyslexic. I just realised I needed to think more about these letters and number. And I did wonder why I never really liked reading when my friends seemed to take such pleasure in reading books. Why didn’t I like reading too?
So then fast forward a number of years to when I was an adult and our son, Alex was born. Alex, also struggled in school to write, read and take notes. Was that because I didn’t spend time reading to him? No, I don’t think so. We did read with him and helped with homework. Plus hubby, Peter is an avid reader, as is Alex’s older sister, Sophie. They both absolutely love to read. Yet Alex & I do not.
Alex was never tested for dyslexia until college and when he was, yes, sure enough he is dyslexic. I thought I’d do an online test to check if I was dyslexic too – and as indicated, I surely am!
So, does this hold us back?
Do we see it as a disadvantage? Absolutely not. In fact, we see it as an advantage.
In my opinion, it’s helped Alex & I to think differently. We’ve naturally adapted to what we’re given and gifted in. Alex now works with us at Social Progress and is a massive asset to the team. His creativity and different thinking helps us to think outside the box.
I feel people with dyslexia are extremely creative thinkers, solution focused and very sociable. Why? Who knows! Maybe it’s because they can’t easily get information from reading and writing. Maybe it’s because by talking to others they find the information they need. I’m no specialist in this field. All I know is that we look for solutions and can often find them when others can’t. We actually don’t think we’re thinking any differently. We often can’t understand why others don’t see the solutions, ideas and answers to challenges that we can see.
Now I’m not saying people with dyslexia are in any way special. All I am saying is that everyone has a part to play and strengths to bring to the table.
If you’re unsure if you or someone you know has dyslexia why not check out this article on Dyslexia by the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dyslexia/
And if your child needs additional support check out our friend, Joanne Thornes at Beam Dyslexia.
We’d also love to hear from other people who are dyslexic – do you see if as an advantage or disadvantage?
Get in touch and let us know your thoughts.