Chris Griffiths world-leading expert on the application of innovation and Mind Mapping®

#Dyslexic People are Brilliant Learners

Dyslexia is a common neurological difference - and while it can come with its challenges, it is also frequently paired with an aptitude for creativity and a flair for problem-solving.

Despite this, misconceptions about dyslexia can still prevail. Those with dyslexia are likely to have difficulty writing, spelling and reading. In the past, this has been wrongly associated with lacking intelligence or having an absence of ideas.

In reality, dyslexia has absolutely no impact on intelligence, and dyslexics are as likely to have ideas as good as anyone else's (indeed, their capabilities to think outside the box may even mean that they have more ideas).

In the classroom, differences such as dyslexia can become more apparent when in the wrong environment; but handled correctly, they needn’t slow a student down.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that when taught in an accessible environment, dyslexic students excel in education.

So, here are five reasons dyslexic people make brilliant learners:

1. They see the big picture

You know the classic phrase, ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ - well, that does not apply to dyslexic people.

While they may struggle with the details of things, they are naturally better at seeing (and understanding) the big picture. This is an important ability at any point in life, but it’s especially crucial in a learning environment.

Everyone, no matter how smart or capable, has strengths and weaknesses. While it is not uncommon for students to get discouraged because they aren’t performing as well in a particular area, dyslexic learners are far more resilient - they know that even if they struggle with a certain lesson or aspect of a subject, it doesn’t mean they should give up altogether.

It also makes them excellent at managing personal projects and understanding how different pieces of the puzzle make up the picture as a whole.

2. They have entrepreneurial spirit

That is to say, they’re innovative, determined and have a lot of ideas to bring to the table. It’s estimated that one in three entrepreneurs have dyslexia.

Famous examples of dyslexic entrepreneurs include:

  • Thomas Edison
  • Henry Ford
  • Richard Branson
  • Steve Jobs

Perhaps their determination comes from being a visual thinker in a world that loves lists, essays and other forms of textual information - whatever the reason, most dyslexic learners have the courage to try new things, even if they make mistakes.

Their natural leaning towards creativity also means that when it comes to applying knowledge and working independently, they’re natural experts.

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3. Spatial and visual thinkers

While people with dyslexia struggle with letters and words, they are great with visuals and 3-D objects. In fact, many architects, artists and designers have dyslexia.

This means they are very artistic and excel at explaining difficult concepts in clear, visual ways. In fact, dyslexic learners may even be able to aid their teachers when it comes to helpful visual representations.

Again, this relates to the connection between dyslexia and big picture thinking - they are able to wrap their mind around 3-D objects as they think primarily in pictures and shapes (rather than words).

While they may struggle with the comprehension of text, they have an amazing memory when it comes to recalling images - so they have a knack for remembering faces!

4. They’re naturally empathetic

While empathy is something we like to believe every person has, dyslexic people are more likely than the average person to be more sensitive to others and their feelings.

While some people may become impatient with their peers at times, dyslexics have a good understanding of what it’s like to struggle with something or to face a challenge that others don’t always understand. This is one of the reasons they are so accommodating of others.

This makes them excellent learners as they are quick to help those who are struggling - and this is a benefit to themselves, too, as teaching is one of the best ways to truly learn!

For this reason, dyslexic students not only make great learners, but can grow to become great teachers, too.

5. They can solve problems

Puzzle-solving is often a part of the learning process; to truly express our understanding, we have to be able to apply our knowledge, not just recite it.

People with dyslexia are naturally gifted at problem-solving and have an expert eye when it comes to spotting patterns. This gives them a big advantage when it comes to learning complicated processes as they can wrap their heads around them more easily. Plus, as mentioned in the previous point, they may just be able to provide a visual or symbolic way of more easily explaining them to their peers.

This knack for problem-solving is a real asset in and out of the classroom, and just another example of why dyslexic people are excellent learners.

It’s 2020 and now more than ever the education sector is waking up to the importance of neurodiversity. As attitudes shift, people are increasingly understanding that dyslexia (while it comes with its challenges) can provide students with a host of creative benefits and abilities - making them excellent students and brilliant learners.

Caragh Medlicott and Chris Griffiths world-leading expert on the application of innovation and Mind Mapping® 

Chris Griffiths is the founder of Ayoa.com – an assistive tech Mind Mapping and Task Management tool perfectly suited to aiding those with Dyslexia.

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