Its Dyslexia week

80% of people do not get diagnosed with dyslexia

As a proud man with dyslexia, I’m always happy to talk honestly about it with people willing to really listen about my superpower.

If you spend any time with me, you will get a sense of how my mind will blend from one thing to another. Its that flow state which my mind feels comfortable in but others wonder how I made that leap? I actively have to stop myself from doing it. Thinking about what I should write for the week I just started writing as my mind works…

One important thing to say always is, each person is different and each person with dyslexia has different experiences and different ways of managing or thriving. Some struggle all their lives trying to fit into a neurotypical world. I remember when I heard Dr Jonathan review Disability: the book, there was a quote which stuck me.

“some people have physical impairments, but it’s society through exclusion, through stigma, through oppression that makes people disabled”

I found this quite powerful. Dyslexia is classed as a disability and the quote above summed up a lot. The stigma of dyslexia from a stereotypical society is what makes people with dyslexia disabled… Although its exactly right, I don’t feel disabled in anyway, except when I rub against societal norms.

All the thoughts over the weekend

Last year I asked at the Mozilla Festival in the brand new Neurodiversity space. What do people think of when they think about when thinking about dyslexia? The results were different from what I was expecting. Zero of them said disabled or indicated that. However I had put up a bunch of the M.I.N.D strengths straight out of the Dyslexic Advantage. A book I recommend and lend to other people with Dyslexia when ever I can.  I recently subscribed the dyslexic advantage site as it helps fund more academic research, which is very much needed.

When they asked me to be interviewed, I of course happily said yes!

I will never forget the conversation myself and Kate (two dyslexic minds in conversation) had for the listening project. A conversation which you could hear on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Manchester and finally in the national archive. Only half the dare/bet/conversation has actually happen with Kate taking me to Ireland in a bright yellow camper van.

Ian and Kate

We just bounced off each other and it sums up the good things which can happen when you have confident dyslexics in a room. Of course its not all positive as describe in the posts what is daily life like and what its like to love someone with dyslexic (something I was expecting a lot more criticism about, although I likely did most of the damage previously).

A lot comes from experiences and talking with other people with dyslexia. Lots cover it up or won’t reveal it to others, but they have good reason. Like lots of others I was finally diagnosed in University not junior school although they had thought I might be dyslexic. I do wonder about what might have been different if I was rightly diagnosed back in junior school?

Think about all those young people growing up (even now) not aware of their strengths. All those people who don’t understand how powerful it can be. Of course there is a petition for this.

Author: Ianforrester

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

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