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Anne Dalke's picture

the abling aspects of dyslexia

So much of our discussion of Culture as Disability was about the (inevitably) disabling aspects of culture that I thought folks might get a boost from hearing a counterstory, about the abling aspects of what is most often thought of as a disability. A recent NYTimes article, Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia, says that more than a third of the entrepreneurs in a recent study identified themselves as dyslexic:

"'dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills'...are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems...more likely than nondyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving ...Individuals who have difficulty reading and writing tend to deploy other strengths....They rely on mentors, and as a result, become very good at reading other people and delegating duties to them. They become adept at using visual strengths to solve problems."

One of the subjects in the study said, "'I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator...I think everybody should have dyslexia and A.D.D....I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence as a kid....And that is for the good. If you have a healthy dose of rejection in your life, you are going to have to figure out how to do it your way'....his limitations have endowed him with a 'razor sharp' intuition that allows him to ascertain within minutes of meeting people whether he can depend on them and what they would be good at in an organization."


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