The gifts of dyslexia
Dyslexics process information in their brains differently from the majority of people. This results in the kind of thinking and learning we call 'conceptual thinking' (also known as picture thinking). This different way of thinking is also familiar to people with AD(H)D, dyscalculia, PDD-NOS and being highly gifted. In addition it is the basis for many talents.
Conceptual thinkers have many qualities and talents that are a direct consequence of their way of thinking, they:
- have many ideas and are innovative;
- are able to look forwards and make predictions;
- have a good overview;
- are able to think critically;
- able to see cause and effect;
- have a good nose for opportunities;
- see solutions for complex problems quickly;
- are good at networking;
- are very creative;
- are able to do many tasks at the same time;
- have good spatial insight;
- are sensitive to colours, atmosphere and beauty;
- are good at improvising;
- have a strong intuition;
- are able to look at problems or situations from different angles;
- have a strong imagination and the ability to see images;
- are highly sensitive: feeling what is going to happen or what is affecting things under the radar.
In addition the conceptual thinker is often a hard worker, but this is usually the result of fear of failure driving them to perform and prove themselves. This can take you very far and give you great strength. Only you have to be careful that you do not get exhausted.
Many got successfull due to their dyslexia
This feature has managed to survive during the course of human evolution. Indeed, many have grown up to become extraordinary with it. Just look for example at:
- Artists: Leonardo Da Vinci, Jamie Oliver, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol
- Scientists: Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Matthew H. Schnepps, Wubbo Ockels (Astronaut and Dutch)
- Athletes: Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson
- Writers: Agatha Christie, John Irving
- Politicians: Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy
- Inventors / entrepreneurs: Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Nikola Tesla (inventor and electrical engineer), Guglielmo Marconi (wireless telegraph)
- Singers: Robbie Williams, Joss Stone, Cher, John Lennon
- Actors / actresses / directors: Keira Knightley, Quentin Tarantino, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Steven Spielberg
There is no one who assesses their legacy in the light of their dyslexia, their so-called defect or disorder. Many of them had problems in school because their strengths were not properly recognized, but they proved their value as conceptual thinkers in work and in life while focusing on their strengths.
Quote from chapter 7 on the gifts of dyslexia:
Peter, 43, general director:
If you ask me what I am good at, then it is my very good spatial insight that I use to see through technical things, and then to produce technical gadgets. I am very creative at that. In addition I am good at making links and hence I can take care that things proceed efficiently.
For our company I do the sales, I get new companies involved. I go to see them, hear what difficulties they are encountering and then think up a solution. I think that I get in the door more easily as a director than as a salesman in a slick suit. A salesman comes in with a slick story and then it is still a question whether production can actually deliver it. I have a lot of experience of what can go well or go wrong, I can decide and I can shift quickly and hence respond well to the client’s questions. I am not a real sales person, but because of the advantages I have, I am very good at selling.”