Dyslexia is a learning difference characterized by challenges with reading, writing, and focus. Some of the strengths associated with dyslexia are strong 3D visualization, out-of-the-box thinking, and holistic or global thinking.
International Dyslexia Association - Dyslexia Screening - Adult Reading History Questionnaire (ARHQ) is a self-report screening tool designed to measure risk of reading disability in adults.
National Science Teaching Association on Learning Disabilities - Explains the most common learning disabilities along with tips to identify and manage them in an educational setting.
The Dyslexic Advantage – Screening Tool - Online screening test for dyslexia based on a simple checklist developed by Ian Smythe and John Everett in 2001. The results of the screening include Unlikely, Mild-to-Moderate, and Moderate-to-Severe.
Learning Disabilities – Dyscalculia - Commonly referred to "math dyslexia," dyscalculia is a learning disability that makes dealing with numbers or math frustrating. This self-assessment is created from a checklist developed by Dyscalculia.org.
Learning Disabilities – Dyslexia - This website offers a free online self-assessment to test if you show symptoms similar to those of dyslexia. The test was developed by the Davis Dyslexia Association International.
Learning Disabilities Association of America - LDA is an organization that supports people with learning disabilities. They have resources for everybody: parents, educators, adults, professionals, and students!
National Center for Learning Disabilities - This organization strives to assist those with learning and attention issues. They offer opportunities for advocacy, research, scholarships, and education.
Dyslexic Advantage - This nonprofit was founded by Dr. Brock Eide and Dr. Fernette Eide, the authors of the best-selling book The Dyslexic Advantage, and provides a mountain of resources for students and teachers.
Peggy Stern – Filmmaker - Peggy Stern is an Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker that leverages her life-long experiences with dyslexia through her art to inspire future generations dealing with learning differences.
Carol Greider – Influential Person (Molecular Biologist) - Carol Greider was diagnosed with dyslexia in her childhood. She has greatly contributed to the medical field through her discovery of telomerase, a key enzyme in cellular aging and in cancer growth.
Being You – Film Documentary - This online documentary follows three young people as they travel across America to speak with different individuals with learning and attention issues that transformed their experiences into assets in both their personal and professional lives.
Different Types of Learners: What College Students Should Know - This article explores different approaches to learning within traditional and contemporary education environments. All students learn differently and understanding what works for you can best support your learning process.
8 Voice-to-Text Software That’ll Help You Work Faster - Learn more about these voice-to-text software. These tools automate the document creation process so that you can freely write, hands-free! Typing is slower than the speed at which the brain processes information.
From Scientific Literature
Below, you will find some summaries of literature articles we have hand-selected for you. These articles tend to focus more on strengths rather than weaknesses, which aligns with the main focus of our work: highlighting the strengths that neurodiverse individuals possess while also acknowledging the significant challenges they face at times.
Dyslexic entrepreneurs: the incidence; their coping strategies and their business skills
J. Logan, “Dyslexic entrepreneurs: the incidence; their coping strategies and their business skills,” Dyslexia, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 328–346, 2009, doi: 10.1002/dys.388.
Recent research suggests that individuals with dyslexia may thrive in entrepreneurship. A comparative study of dyslexic entrepreneurs and corporate managers revealed a significantly higher prevalence of dyslexia among entrepreneurs. Dyslexic entrepreneurs often lead larger staff and companies, despite facing educational challenges. They demonstrated excellent communication and delegation skills but ran their businesses for shorter durations. Role models and mentors played a crucial role in their success, contrary to non-dyslexics who attributed success more to education. Risk-taking and qualities like determination and perseverance were common among both dyslexic and non-dyslexic entrepreneurs.
In the UK, dyslexic adults had lower confidence levels than in the US during their upbringing, potentially influenced by delayed efforts in the UK to make education dyslexia-friendly. Mentors and tutors played a pivotal role in building young confidence and teaching effective strategies. Dyslexic entrepreneurs leveraged their strengths in communication and delegation, valuing control and autonomy.
These findings underscore the profound impact of education on young dyslexic students and emphasize the importance of early recognition and cultivation of their strengths. The close alignment between dyslexic traits and entrepreneurial qualities suggests that those with dyslexia are more likely to achieve success when they identify and develop their unique abilities.
Developmental Dyslexia: Disorder or Specialization in Exploration?
H. Taylor and M. D. Vestergaard, “Developmental Dyslexia: Disorder or Specialization in Exploration?,” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 2022, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.889245.
Society has traditionally labeled dyslexia as a disorder, however, when viewed through the lens of cognitive search, numerous benefits emerge that are revealed through societal trade-off between exploration and exploitation. Exploration is spending time and effort looking for resources and information, while exploitation is utilizing found resources and information. The author argues that for society to thrive in an ever-changing environment, a delicate balance between these two modes is imperative.
Dyslexia appears to specialize in exploration. Individuals with dyslexia are often better at seeking and integrating information as it becomes available. They excel at semantics – finding the meaning behind ideas – rather than orthographics – literal information and precise analysis. They’re well equipped with divergent thinking, where they tend to generate many solutions and ideas, as well as extensive elaboration and development. In other words, they are more creative, rather than “conventional” or “correct.” This aligns with better episodic memory and simulation – they are exceptional at recalling past experiences and can generate future possibilities, at the cost of procedural memory. Their diminished working memory capacity propels them to excel in insight-based reasoning.
Furthermore, dyslexia is associated with bigger minicolumns in the cortex, meaning smaller local connections – as a tradeoff for strong global connections. In simpler terms, dyslexics tend to have huge strengths in bigger-picture ideas, long-term thinking, and inventiveness. However, the current education system tends to nurture a more exploitative bias, leaving those with explorative brains feeling less intelligent or that they have a disorder and must “fix” their brain. Considering the relatively recent invention of reading and writing as factors in intelligence, it is inaccurate to label someone who struggles with these skills as unintelligent. Dyslexia has a high prevalence in the population and these positive traits do not appear to be coping strategies, but rather inherent.
By examining dyslexia through a cognitive search lens, we can learn how to improve the educational system, nurture explorative AND exploitative thinking, and promote collaboration among diverse minds instead of imposing a uniform approach on everyone.