Relating to dyslexia

Albert Einstein - Dyslexic and most recognized and well-known scientists

I was reading wired.com’s post about Dyslexia from a while ago and it almost had me in tears on the tube today. Why? Because I related to so much of it, it was freaky.

Interconnected reasoning is another kind of strength. These connections can be relationships of likeness — analogies for example — or causal relationships, or the ability to shift perspective and view an object or event from multiple perspectives, or the ability to see the “gist” or big-picture context surrounding an event or idea. Many dyslexics work in highly interdisciplinary fields or fields that require combining perspectives and techniques gained from different disciplines or backgrounds. Or they’re multiple specialists, or their work history is unusually varied. Often these individuals draw the comment that they can see connections that other people haven’t seen before.

This is one of my biggest things. I see the world in a connected way (for example the post about the singularity and diversity) and I find it hard to explain to others but in my head it makes sense. The tools I’m told to use limit me and drive me insane (don’t get me started on having to separate my life and manage two calendars, thankfully I opted out of that crap)

Here comes one of those connections… I have been looking for a way to do collaborative mindmapping. I love google docs but a document is sometimes limiting. I have looked around and found quite a few commercial mindmapping tools but then I found mindmup which is open source. And with some experimentation the other day, I got it working with Google Drive in a realtime collaborative way. Expect more mind maps in the future now.

But back to that post…

Wired: Would you want to be dyslexic if you could choose to be?
Brock: Absolutely! It’s a phenomenal kind of wiring.

This one really got me. For all the people telling me I’m doing it wrong, correcting my writing, etc, etc… Its made me a stronger person. A person with a super strong personality, self confident about my own ability and weaknesses. I have to admit even with the hard time I got at home and at school, I wouldn’t change a thing. Its part of who I am, and I can’t imagine not being dyslexic.

I luckily grew up in the technological revolution meaning I could cope through reliance on technology. If I was a generation earlier, it would be a different story.

I do wonder what difference it would have made if I had been correctly diagnosed in junior school? Rather that 10 years later while doing my dissertation at Ravensbourne. The test of half a day was intense but finally the results were posted to me later and as I always knew, I was pretty badly dyslexic.

I’ll be keeping an eye on dyslexicadvantage as I’d certainly like to improve on my already quite unique skillset.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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