October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, and when I was in school, very few educators and teachers knew about dyslexia or how to help dyslexic students.
Even today there is still a misperception that dyslexic individuals are less intelligent than their peers.
When I tell people that I’m dyslexic, their immediate response is “Oh, you are smart, I would have never guessed that you were dyslexic?” If I had a dollar for every time someone has said this statement to me I would have enough money to purchase a tropical island.
Last week, I spoke at The Winston School about being dyslexic and how dyslexia can be a competitive edge.
During my speech, I told the audience that I am determined to educate and change the perception of dyslexia.
Instead of individuals questioning our intelligence, I seek the day that their response would be this instead:
- Which company do you run?
- How many startups have you launched?
- What books have you written?
- What movie did you create?
- How many patents do you hold?
I believe it our duty to ensure a better future for all dyslexic students.
We are part of a unique group of intellectual thinkers. Members of our group (dyslexia) have profoundly changed the world from Thomas Edison to Albert Einstein and John Chambers just to name a few.
I now understand the brilliance within the dyslexic brain and the creativity that is generated from its mishap wiring. The side effective of having dyslexia is that I have become the Master of Adaption.
My brain has developed sophisticated measures for adapting on the fly from scanning the room for possible spelling words to having a photographic memory. These actions that are now second nature and have become most powerful assets. I see and process details that others most often are miss.
For all the frustration, I have felt and the tears that I have shed dealing with dyslexia, I would not trade being dyslexic. I cannot spell. Sometimes, hunting down the correct spelling of a word can take thirty minutes or more.
I could not live without the creativity energy or the ability to think in 3-D and am passionate about helping dyslexic students learn how to use this gift to their advantage.
Persistence, determination, tenacity, creativity and being a Master of Adaption, are just a few of the characteristics that make dyslexia unique.
Use these characteristics to unleash the power of the dyslexic brain!