While dyslexia comes with many challenges, it can truly be a gift. Those with dyslexia tend to struggle with reading and writing. Despite having average to above average intelligence, they typically have trouble decoding and spelling words and expressing their thoughts on paper, amongst other language-based challenges. Yet while those with dyslexia face many challenges, they also have numerous strengths that are real assets for success in life. Let’s break down some typical challenges and strengths:
Reading & Spelling with Accuracy
Individuals with dyslexia tend to struggle with the mechanics of reading and writing, including accurately sounding out and spelling words. They might look at the initial letter in a word and “guess” at the rest of it, or may simply make up words as they go. They might also replace certain words with others that “make sense” within that spot in the sentence. For example, they might read “Leo efficiently completed his work” as “Leo effortlessly completed his work.” Furthermore, those with dyslexia often have wonderful, creative ideas but struggle to express those ideas on paper when writing.
Some individuals with dyslexia have trouble with word retrieval, or finding the right word to use when speaking. This might affect their relationships with peers, since it can be challenging for them to keep up a conversation and have a back and forth dialogue. They also might forget specific words or details within a conversation they had with a friend, leading to miscommunication and misunderstanding, and ultimately negatively affecting friendships.
Many people with dyslexia are exceptionally bright and gifted in a multitude of skills. However, they often find themselves struggling with reading and writing and see themselves as “stupid” or not as smart as their peers. This can lead to low self-esteem and overall negative feelings about themselves, which can sometimes lead to mental health challenges, like anxiety and depression.
While dyslexia comes with many academic challenges, those with dyslexia also have numerous gifts. Let’s take a look at some of these strengths:
Great creativity & spatial skills
Individuals with dyslexia are often very creative and have strong spatial skills. They tend to be fantastic artists, painters, and sculptors. They can also visit a place and have an exceptionally strong visual memory of what they saw as compared to their peers. This skill can help them excel in many careers, including architecture, graphic design, engineering, and even surgery.
Strong people skills
Those with dyslexia often have great people skills. Since they face constant challenges academically, then tend to empathize with their peers in a way that far surpasses those without dyslexia. They know what it is like to struggle and can thus relate to others going through different types of struggles and form a strong bond with them accordingly.
Outside of the box thinkers
Many people with dyslexia are forced to think out of the box on a regular basis as they face daily challenges. Since they struggle with reading and writing and may have trouble with daily tasks like writing an email or reading the newspaper, they typically need to find innovative ways to help them overcome these challenges and excel. Their ideas are often unique, creative, and far more advanced than solutions their peers might come up with. These qualities can help them become excellent business leaders and entrepreneurs in life.
Excellent reasoning skills
Those with dyslexia tend to have strong reasoning skills. They are often able to understand concepts from different perspectives, analyze and see patterns, and process complex concepts in ways their non-dyslexic peers can’t. While the mechanics of reading and writing are a struggle for them, comprehending the “big picture,” making inferences, and synthesizing the main idea are often strengths for individuals with dyslexia. Many are great problem solvers.
While dyslexia certainly comes with many academic and emotional challenges, it also bears numerous strengths. Those with dyslexia are often creative, bright, have strong critical thinking skills, and show empathy towards others. They hold many gifts that can help them excel in relationships and in life.
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