Tuesday, July 9, 2013

In Guardian, dyslexia disability or gift?

Hello all, I just saw the op/ed piece in the Guardian newspaper by Sally Gardner, June 24, 2013 (ref. posted in connection with the Arts Dyslexia Trust in the UK), "Dyslexia is not a disability--it's a gift."

There were many comments, pro and con, with many misunderstandings -- and there is much to be said in reply. I will try to deal with most of these in this blog in the near future and I will let you all know more about it here.

One issue at the top: While I am a fan of Steve Jobs and all he has done (while also being aware of his many flaws), I have never seen evidence that he is dyslexic. He was highly visual and highly creative. Many dyslexics fill this partial description, but in most respects he does not fit the dyslexic pattern based on what I have seen.

As many of you know from my books and my many talks over the years, I have made a special study of the distinctive talents among dyslexics -- and there is steadily mounting evidence that the "dyslexic advantage" is real and substantial. More on this soon.

However, of course, most of the educational system certainly is, by definition, rigged to exhibit weaknesses rather than the real strengths (which are largely misunderstood or ignored).

Best wishes to you all -- Thomas G. West, author of In the Mind's Eye and Thinking Like Einstein (and proud founding member of the ADT).