I’ve heard that only 3% of the population believes that dyslexia is anything other than a disadvantage. That statistic is surprising and quite honestly, disappointing to me! With so many brilliant role models who have excelled because of being dyslexic, it is disheartening that so many people feel that dyslexia holds individuals back in some way. With more than 40% of self-made millionaires identifying as dyslexic, we can hardly say that it holds them back. Some might actually argue that they reached this pinnacle because they are dyslexic.
I have written before about the typical characteristics of a dyslexic individual but have done so in the context of hoping to support those working with kiddos to be better equipped in identifying and intervening earlier. Those characteristics can really be used for so much more than just identifying individuals with dyslexia. Those same characteristics can give us some indication of the kinds of adults that kiddos may become with support and encouragement. Work ethic, determination, creativity, and kindness are all characteristics that allow kiddos to grow and develop in to thriving, self-sufficient, successful adults.
The frustration that kiddos with dyslexia feel often comes more from a societal system of education that fails to see and engage their brilliance but rather stifles it. A simple Google search of “typical characteristics of dyslexia” makes it blatantly obvious that dyslexia is considered much more of a disadvantage by most definitions. But the resilience dyslexic individuals have certainly counters that point. The persistence they must have to accomplish tasks that are completed easily by others speaks to their tenacity and drive. They endure consistently frustrating input but manage to maintain a façade that fools even the best of teachers. While these qualities seem to be minimized during a kiddo’s academic career, it is these very qualities that will ensure their long term success.