In This Episode:
Dyslexia isn't all bad news! There's plenty of good stuff too! People with dyslexia often have amazing talents. They may also be creative thinkers, athletes, artists, or have other talents. LinkedIn has even added it as a recognized skill you can add to your resume as businesses have started to realize the power of dyslexic thinking!
Here are just a few successful dyslexics:
- Dyslexia isn't all bad news!
- What are the benefits of dyslexia?
- Foster the Strengths!
Connect with Lisa Parnello:
- Follow on Instagram @ParnelloEducation
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Understanding Dyslexia and Structured Reading Online Course
- Dyslexic Advantage Book
- Overcoming Dyslexia Book
- LinkedIn Skill
- Dyslexia Devoted Facebook Group
- Audible Plus
Other Resources I Love:
Hello and welcome to dyslexia devoted the podcast dedicated to building awareness, understanding and strategies to help those with dyslexia. I'm your host Lisa Parnello, dyslexia therapist and founder of Parnello education services. This show features information stories, candid interviews and experiences with dyslexia at all ages. Join me as we dive into today's episode of dyslexia.
Do you realize there's a very high number of incredibly successful people who also have dyslexia? Welcome to Episode 11 of dyslexia devoted and today we're going to be talking about all of the amazingly positive attributes of dyslexic thinking. In previous episodes, we talked a lot about the challenges and simple strategies you can try. But it's not all bad news. And today, let's focus on the good stuff. Before we get started, I want to let you know I started a new Facebook group just for dyslexia devoted listeners, find the link in this episode description and join me in the conversation about dyslexia. I make this podcast for your benefit, not mine. So I'd love to hear from you and your favorite episodes, your questions, your topics that you'd like to know more about. So join me in our new Facebook group. When we think about dyslexia, we often think about all of the challenges, struggling with learning how to read not being able to spell as well as others, not coming across on paper as smart as you do in person. But the thing is, there are a lot of great benefits to dyslexia to many successful people also have dyslexia, and many people think that it isn't a coincidence. Here are just a few very successful Dyslexics Danny Glover, Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Polacco, the famous author, many wonder, is it a chicken or an egg situation which one came first. Many people wonder if people with dyslexia are strong in other areas, because they're compensating, and they're spending more energy in other places that seem a little easier to them. Or if it's just naturally that way. When I went on a visit to the UCSF dyslexia Research Center, I discovered that recent FMRI machine scans of people with dyslexia often show that wherever there is a weakness in the brain, there is an equally opposite strength in the brain as well. So maybe it's not just a coincidence. So what are some of those benefits of dyslexia? One is creative thinking. Kids and adults with dyslexia are able to think in completely different ways than what people would traditionally think of. I know when I've been teaching, I'll often ask questions and have a general answer of what to expect to hear back. Now, that doesn't always work working with dyslexic kids, I will have a thought of what I want to lead them to as I'm guiding them through questioning. And then it never fails, there will be some sort of amazing answer. That is not what I was looking for. That still perfectly answers the question and makes perfect sense. But it's not the trajectory my brain ever would have gone. It is something that always fascinates me, and makes me love teaching kids with dyslexia. But it's not just a kid thing. Adults with dyslexia have those same attributes. They can keep thinking in creative ways and solve problems and often end up in amazing leadership positions, leading companies and all sorts of wonderful things. Another strength is seeing that big picture. And that's where a lot of times people can become founders and creative thinkers and inventors. Because they can see the big picture, they can see the big idea of what it all leads do. With all these little pieces come together. I have met many successful CEOs and business leaders with dyslexia, many of which did not know that they even had dyslexia until adulthood. I know that there's some of the students that I've worked with, that the parents didn't realize they had dyslexia till their kids got diagnosed. And then they realize, Wait, I have all of the same challenges when I was growing up. I just figured it out, or I just memorized all the words, or I cheated on my test to get through high school. And so it's something that we think about people who are struggling in school becoming failures. But really, that's not the case at all. School is not everyday life. And sometimes that out of the box thinking and that extra ADHD energy that we talked about in our last episode can come in pretty helpful in life. And in the workforce. Another attribute of dyslexia is being very personable. A lot of times they can be very clever and conniving. Sometimes I wonder if that one is because of the dyslexia. Because sometimes if something's really hard, you come up with all sorts of creative ways to get out of doing it, creating that personal connection and being able to relate to other people and get them to like you can come in pretty handy in life. If you have dyslexia and you have challenges that you need a little help to overcome, or sometimes to avoid. Also, there's the artistic ability, when I say artistic ability that can take so many different forms. It could be acting, it could be singing, it could be playing an instrument. It could be clay work. or sculpting I suppose is probably the proper term for that. It could be drawing or painting. I know that I've had some amazing artworks from my students that they've given to me as presents that I cherish. In fact, I showed one of my students a picture of my cat. And after the summer break, when, by the way, I had not seen her in two months, she reappears with a perfect clay mold of my cat, including the color of its eyes, that little clay cat got moved to multiple offices on campus when I get moved around as my office shuffled over the years at the school. Now it sits on my desk at my house so that when I'm on a little zoom call, I can stare at my cute little cat. And remember joyful memories of the talents of the students that I've worked with over the years. Other people with dyslexia might have athletic abilities, whether that's basketball, or soccer, or I know some of my students really have loved horseback riding over the years. And it might come out in all sorts of different ways. And I have a funny story for this one. There was a student I was working with two days a week, one day a week, she was very scatterbrained and all over and it's very hard to get her to focus. The other day of the week, she was super focused. So I told the parents, whatever it is, you're doing on Wednesdays keep that up, she does so much better whenever she does, that. Turns out she was doing horseback riding. And now I'm definitely to blame for her doing national horseback riding and jumping competitions across the country. And so it is something that started as a way to get her to focus for tutoring sessions, but has now become a sport that she loves and does quite well in and gets to compete and win all sorts of ribbons. And it's amazing to have seen what started as a hobby to keep her busy and keep her focused during tutoring has led to something quite successful for her life beyond tutoring now that we no longer need to work together because she's pretty successful reader in honors classes. Now, all of these advantages are now starting to be recognized in the business world. LinkedIn has recently recognized dyslexic thinking as a valuable skill that you can add to your LinkedIn profile as being a dyslexic thinker, because people and businesses have started to realize their advantages. So while adults with dyslexia may need some accommodations, or some forgiveness on some typos in their email exchanges, third, some definite business advantages and being able to be personable, whether that makes you a salesperson, or whether you have the big picture thinking and you can create a plan for our business and how we can move forward and grow exponentially. There's a lot of advantages to having dyslexia. In fact, there's an entire book called the Dyslexic Advantage. When I was working at the school, we actually made it our summer book club book last summer, the whole school staff read the book, the Dyslexic advantage, so that we could have a book talk to start our school year last year. And it was a great way for us to think about our students in far more than their challenges, but also focus on their strengths, and really how to harness them to empower students to be successful, because there are a lot of advantages to dyslexia. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm a really good reader. But I'm really bad at reading nonfiction books, I tend to read a few pages, and then I close the book and I walk away and I have a hard time sitting down for a really long time. So I actually really greatly enjoyed listening to the audible version of the Dyslexic advantage. And I actually did the same thing for Sally Shaywitz, his book about overcoming dyslexia, because I find I'm able to listen to bigger chunks of the book, as I'm driving through commute hours, when, if you're stuck in traffic, there's really nowhere you can go. And so it's a lot more pleasant, when you can listen to something interesting and learn along the way. So thank you, audible for saving me on some of those longer, more research based books. If you want to learn more about dyslexia, those two books are pretty awesome. And I will share them in the description and in the show notes for today. And as always, the show notes are always Parnello education.com, forward slash episode, and then whatever number it is, so in this case, it would be episode 11. As we talk about the strengths with dyslexia, it's really important that we are fostering those strengths. So it can be very tempting to just dive into remediation and getting the kids the help that they need, because they need to learn how to read they need to learn how to spell this is really important. And it's okay, you can just skip art class, skip sports practice, who you need to go to tutoring, really need to catch up on your skills. But really, that is not everything. We really need to foster those strengths. Go to those art classes, join sports, it's really important not to sacrifice the strengths to build up those weak areas. You have to find a balance, figuring out how can you do a little bit of both, because if their entire day is struggling, and then adding more struggle that's not going to help anything. And so it's important to create balance, or if it's an adult with dyslexia, find other ways to have balance, find ways to still do the creative artwork, find ways to still keep playing
sports, find ways to keep doing art work, and finding connections in those areas of strength is critical for long term success. I hope you've enjoyed this episode, Cherishing all of the wonderful attributes of dyslexia, and the advantages that come along with it. So dyslexia isn't all bad. It's full of great strength to students who can be struggling in school, maybe even failing in school can becoming incredibly successful in life. Now, I'm not advocating for failing in school, find ways to get better, find ways to build up those areas of weakness, but do it with a bit of balance. There are so many benefits. Think about those creative thinking, try art, try sports, try music. Sometimes it's not a talent you've ever tried before that you might actually have. So if you can find a way to harness that talent, maybe turn that talent into a career. Maybe you can become an actor. Maybe you can become an illustrator for books, and finding ways to harness those strengths. To make it better and better in life. Don't always focus on those weaknesses. You can't override those strengths by working on the trouble spots, you have to do both. Find successes, enjoy the ride. And don't forget to join the Dyslexia Devoted Facebook group so we can have a two way conversation on this. Let's celebrate together some of those strengths of dyslexia. Thanks and see you next time.
Thanks for listening to today's episode of dyslexia devoted. Join us for our next episode by subscribing to this podcast as we devote each episode to different aspects of dyslexia. See you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai