Advantages of Dyslexia in Children
“A dyslexic child has a weakness in decoding surrounded by a sea of strengths.”--Dr. Bennett Shaywitz, M.D.
If your child is dyslexic, you probably have many stories about the advantages of seeing the world from a different perspective. One popular book on this subject is "The Dyslexic Advantage." In this book, authors Brock L. Eide, M. D., M.A., and Fernette F. Eide, M. D., emphasize the strengths of dyslexic children and the benefits of having a dyslexic brain. Realizing and celebrating the advantages of a dyslexic brain may help your child cope with the challenges of dyslexia. Here are some advantages of dyslexia reported by experts in the field:
- Spatial Reasoning Many people with dyslexia have strengths in spatial reasoning. In other words, they are able to reason about the shape, size, position and motion of objects and how those objects interact in the environment. Although these types of skills are not emphasized in many schools, they are used daily by surgeons, chemists, dentist, engineers and mechanics. A dyslexic child often has excellent spatial reasoning abilities that draw them to certain tasks, such as building structures with LEGOs, completing challenging puzzles or drawing complex pictures at a young age.
- Creative Thinking A dyslexic brain is wired differently, a difference which enables the child with dyslexia to see the world from a different perspective. In addition, dyslexic children develop creative ways to figure out words or solve a problem. Innovation helps them to develop a vivid imagination, think outside the box and nurture strong visual skills.
- Interconnected Logic Often children with dyslexia have an exceptional ability to find similarities or form connections to concepts, objects or situations. They can see how one event is related to another event (cause and effect) when other people miss the relationship between the two. Because they see the big picture, they are able to take a step back to examine relationships, form concepts and process information from different perspectives. A dyslexic child may process the world around them in a more holistic, conceptual way than a non-dyslexic child.
- Story Thinking Many people with dyslexia remember events and experience life similarly to what occurs in a story or movie. They remember experiences in a narrative form that allows them to not only recall the past but remember the past with a narrative form that is rich in sensory detail. A child with dyslexia will often use examples, illustrations or descriptions that are rich in visual content to define a concept, opposed to using a hypothetical definition.
- Sensitive Awareness Children with dyslexia can be extremely sensitive to the environment and people around them. They will immediately notice when you move the brown book from the bookshelf in the living room or the lady at the checkout counter seems sad. This sensitive awareness allows them to use all their senses to interpret the world around them.
- Quick Thinking Although children with dyslexia may read slowly, they often think quickly. Because they are often highly visual people, they can often quickly come up with a solution to a problem. They also may persist in addressing a difficult problem because they have learned to develop emotional resiliency.
- Intuitive Dyslexic children are often multi-dimensional intuitive thinkers. Their spatial thinking process moves like scenes in a movie, which is very different from sequential simple to complex thinking that relies on details and nuances. Their ability to take complex ideas and deduce them into parts gives them the ability to think intuitively. Dyslexic children often prefer adult conversations and tend to be extremely wise.