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Invisible Conditions; Why the Game for Dyslexics Is Changing

For too long, Dyslexia has been viewed as a condition which makes people "slow," but now, with new research every year, it’s time to throw out the stereotypes.

Did you know that Lord Allan Sugar is dyslexic? Or that Angela Christy had dyspraxia? Now that you do does it make you question their work?

Dyslexia is a common, multi-facetted, learning difficulty, it comes in many levels, but the one most people think of is not being able to spell, and therefore to write. More commonly we are seeing websites spread through social media revealing the difficulty's dyslexics face on a daily basis. Although these sites highlight the fact that dyslexics have to work harder than the average person, they often fail to highlight anything good about being dyslexic.

It is not uncommon for dyslexics to have gone through their schooling undiagnosed, spending their education years working hard only to be told that they are slow, or lazy. However, as people like Allan Sugar have proven dyslexia does not stop someone from being intelligent. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

In the United Kingdom it is estimated that one in ten people have dyslexia, yet we have such a bad attitude towards the condition. Although many people know about the traits of dyslexia, namely those that make things difficult for dyslexics, it is the issues and need for support that we hear about everywhere. This has a bad habit of putting people off of taking on dyslexic employees and students, as many companies do not wish to take a ‘risk’ and hire someone with a learning disability.

However, the research which we are seeing more and more of in fields of education and invisible conditions has shown that being Dyslexic actually comes with benefits. Groups such as Dyslexia Scotland stand to support dyslexic’s and help to abolish the stereotypes.

A spokesperson from Dyslexia Scotland said: “Dyslexia Scotland works not only to highlight the barriers faced by children and adults with dyslexia but also to highlight the many skills of people such as creativity, great problem solving skills and out of the box thinking. Very often nowadays, the supports needed by people with dyslexia are relatively simple, for example the use of ICT, coloured paper or overlays and breaking complex tasks into smaller chunks. Dyslexia should not stop anyone from achieving their potential but the right support is vital. The good news is that awareness of dyslexia is rising and Dyslexia Scotland continues to work to support people with dyslexia and those affected by it.”

Written by Dr. Brock L. Eide and Dr. Fernette F. Eide in 2011, The Dyslexic Advantage, looks into new research studies of the time which proved the existence of different thinking patterns in the Dyslexic brain. They called this M.I.N.D. an acronym for the Material Reasoning, Interconnected Reasoning, Narrative Reasoning and Dynamic Reasoning strengths which these studies found in dyslexics.

Although M.I.N.D. was discovered in 2011 and has since been taken in as part of the education, and the way we teach dyslexic children in British schools, it cannot be said that we are always seeing the results.

One of the main issues dyslexic’s still face is trying to get over the stereotypes which have controlled and affected the lives of thousands for century’s, a situation not aided by the elder generation of teachers, tutors and employers who know no different from the stereotypes.

For more information, useful documents and support please visit Dyslexia Scotland’s website

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