People often ask about the strengths of Dyslexia; here is my summary of exceptional characteristics that I consistently see in myself, my clients, friends and colleagues with Dyslexia. You will notice them in children and manifesting in particular jobs for adults. Many of these strengths are founded in having exceptional mental imagery and are seen with many adults in creativity, business, design, sport, artists and IT.
- Ability to see things from different perspectives, at the same time. Dyslexics can not only imagine what physical objects look like from different perspectives, including cross-sections, they can also see, without any difficulty, the other side of an argument, business opportunities others don’t see; the list is endless.
- Ability to see 2D objects in 3D. For example, when looking at an Ordnance Survey map, which is flat, they notice the contour lines and can create within seconds a 3D pictures of the mountains and hills, in their mind’s eye
- High-speed ability to make connections between different facts. This leads to amazing insights but can lose the audience
- Picture thinking and a mind’s eye that can run anything as a very fast video. This is invaluable for fast recall and in particular working in the media.
- Exception interpersonal skills. Their creative verbal communications often makes up for their lack of written communications.
- Look back in history to all the famous people who were Dyslexic, they were all very creative. Today we have Jamie Oliver and Richard Branson for example.
- High intelligence. Every Dyslexic I meet has well above average intelligence
- I created the word “Perspectious” once to mean genius-level ability to see different perspectives simultaneously, I think this sums up their attributes.
Olive Hickmott is the Founder of Empowering Learning, author of the bestsellers, Seeing Spells Achieving, Bridges to Success – how to transform Learning Difficulties and The Elephants in the Classroom – uncovering every student’s natural power of mental imagery to enhance learning. In The Elephants in the Classroom, you will find a whole chapter on neurodivergent strengths. Olive and those she has trained work with people in a coaching framework to help them understand their own experiences and learn new skills to change these if they want. Their outstanding skills are just enhanced, never diminished.
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