Celebrate the Season: Dyslexic Gifts
By Cheri Rae
As we embark on Discovering Dyslexia we become More.
More expansive in our thinking. More understanding of differences. More willing to undertake a journey that takes us in directions we never imagined, with challenges that demand we grow and develop new skills.
The demands posed by dyslexia offer unexpected gifts, with the opportunity to grow–as individuals, as parents, as a family.
As we develop and mature as parents of dyslexic children, we begin to gain insights about dyslexic characteristics that go far beyond the difficulties in reading, writing and spelling. We learn to embrace the uniqueness of this different brain that offers positives that far outweigh the negatives.
Yes, the dyslexic struggles are real. And so are the rewards, as we learn how essential it is to support the many strengths so obvious in our dyslexic children–strengths that may never be recognized in school but will prove invaluable in life.
The recognition of these rewards is a gift to our dyslexic children as we teach them to rely on their strengths and develop their awareness of their talents and grace. And as we all know, not all gifts come wrapped up in in pretty paper and tied with ribbons. Some of the very best gifts are the ones that take time to reveal themselves, and may even be disguised in darkness, appreciated only when the light of understanding makes them shine bright.
In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Dyslexic Gifts that are fairly characteristic, but aren’t always noticed. For the next 12 days, we will offer some ideas to contemplate as we take time to identify and enjoy our many dyslexic blessings.
We begin with Dyslexic Gift #1: Big Picture Thinking
It’s that leadership quality that allows an expansive view of setting a course without getting bogged down in the details. It’s a grasp of the whole, an approach that incorporates higher-level thinking and creative problem-solving.
Dyslexic Gift #2: Persistence and Determination
No one works harder or figures out more clever workarounds than a person with dyslexia who is focused on a goal. When the daily struggle evens out with appropriate instruction and accommodation, the long-term benefits remain–as long as accompanied by emotional support.
Dyslexic Gift #3: Empathy and Compassion
A very positive quality shared by so many dyslexics, that very special ability to connect with and, truly understand and appreciate others, how they feel.
Dyslexic Gift #4: Entrepreneurial Spirit
Individuals with dyslexia often have the gift of innovative thinking, willingness to take a risk, quality of confidence, and a great work ethic that combine as assets in coming up with great ideas for businesses–that are often very successful! Think Paul Orfalea with Kinko’s, Charles Schwab in finance, and Sir Richard Branson with an expansive array of successful venures.
Dyslexic Gift #5: Storytelling Ability
All those vivid details and time shifts and great knowledge of the subject come tumbling out in the most entertaining and intriguing way when a dyslexic is allowed to Speak instead of Write. This ability needs to be supported and valued, particularly in testing situations!