What does Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Jamie Oliver all have in common?
They have Dyslexia!
There are many more very successful people who have also overcome Dyslexia. So why do people say that it’s something that someone ‘suffers’ from? The way I see it the condition just means that their brains are wired differently which makes reading and writing a challenge, but more often than not they are some of the most talented people – probably because they have a knack of seeing things from a totally new perspective which makes these individuals an asset to any team!
Last year I read a book called The Dyslexic Advantage by Dr Brock L Eide and Dr Fernette F Eide which was absolutely fascinating. It set out how the Dyslexic brain differs and also the different strengths that a person with Dyslexia has because no two dyslexics are the same either, but just understanding and being able to recognise those strengths in children will help any teacher/parent ensure that their children get the support they need. Often one of those strengths is being able to see the bigger picture and find creative ways of solving problems. This is certainly the case with Richard Branson he doesn’t just follow the convention he sees totally different ways of doing things.This type of dyslexic may have difficulty following a set procedure but in a world where businesses are looking for people to ‘think outside the box’ this could be an advantage.
Picking up whether a child has Dyslexia at an early age is vital in order to give them the support and help that the child needs with the written word. Teaching a subject in a multi-sensory way is key to helping those children build on their natural abilities and stop them feeling isolated from their peers, children very often feel sensitive if they do not think that they are learning at the same rate as others. It will also help them to learn in a way that will allow them to excel by using their natural abilities. By teaching the whole class in a multi-sensory way those with dyslexia aren’t made to feel different and those that haven’t been diagnosed, as believe it or not under diagnosis is still an issue, can excel. In a more traditional teaching environment they may become disruptive and disengaged. Often a person with Dyslexia can be very creative and display talents in more creative and artistic areas. It is not that they can’t understand or can’t achieve in academic subjects but that they may learn better in other ways. They may be a more visual, auditory, tactile or kinaesthetic learner and when more senses are used they can engage with a lesson and provide a positive contribution because they can see things from a completely different angle.
The British Dyslexia Association (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk) also has a great website for parents/teachers/employers with tools to help if you either have a child with Dyslexia or help assess whether a child in your care has Dyslexia which is the first step to helping our future generation and encourage more super talented people to succeed.
Dyslexia Awareness Week – 3rd – 9th November 2014