What its like to love someone who’s dyslexic?

couple

I saw this blog about bipolar a while ago and thought it would be interesting to try and do something similar for dyslexic. Partly because most people still think of dyslexia as simply a learning condition, and have no idea of the bigger picture especially when it comes to relationships.

I’m going to start this off by being completely honest; loving someone who’s dyslexic can be easy or hard; like loving anyone. Being dyslexic myself, I am pretty bias and may find some of the things pretty easy and understandable. I actually like dating people with dyslexia to be honest, as things seem to make more rational. So this comes from personal experience rather than fact or research papers. I think there could be a sit-com idea out of this, in the same way there is the big bang theory which focuses on academically intelligent but socially awkward characters.

I also used dyslexic and person with dyslexia through-out this post, don’t expect any consistency from me – sorry!

Basically don’t take any of this to heart! Its meant to be light hearted

First thing, not every dyslexic person are alike, in the book the dyslexic advantage; the writers talk about 4 different strengths which also come with some disadvantages. People with dyslexia tend to have a blend of the 4 MIND strengths.

  • M-Strength for Material Reasoning, which is primarily reasoning about the position, form, and movement of objects 3D space
  • I-Strengths for Interconnected Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to spot, understand, and reason about connections and relationships (e.g., analogies, metaphors, systems, patterns)
  • N-Strengths for Narrative Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to reason using fragments of memory formed from past personal experience (i.e., using cases, examples, and simulations rather than abstract reasoning from principles)
  • D-Strengths for Dynamic Reasoning, which is the ability to accurately predict using patterns derived through experience the future or the unwitnessed past

As you can imagine these have a impact, but how it affects relationships is still very unknown and up for debate.

Once again… don’t take any of this to heart, think of it as poking a little bit of light hearted fun.

Usually late

Dyslexics tend to be late or have to work harder to be on time. This can seem like laziness or lack of attention when actually this isn’t as such true. As Victoria says.

Dyslexics live in the “now” and not aware of their schedule or anyone else which often makes them seem as if they are in their “own world”

Expect lots of excuses and don’t take their lateness as a insult because when you are with them.

Dyslexics however are solidly planted in the moment and if they are spending time with you, that is where they are mentally – 100% with you. They may seem distracted as their minds may drift or catapult to a stimulating tangent or many tangents as you chat due to the conversation sparking new and exciting thoughts for them, but they are with you.

Think of it like a state of flow.

Remember that thing…?

Expect to have conversations about favourite media or books, for which the dyslexic can’t remember the actual title. Usually explaining the plot or key moments will awaken the dyslexic mind to the fact they have read/seen/heard/experienced it before. It can be frustrating to have that conversation again and again but once awoken expect vivid retracing; like where they first read that book or which cinema they first saw the film in.

Mishearing and misreading

Dyslexics tend to have extended hearing (hears things not said or apparent to others – maybe something to do with the mind working over time?); this can cause issues which can lead to miscommunication, confusion and misunderstanding. Not exactly what you need in a relationship really. Exactly the same is true of misreading, especially when rushed. Don’t rush them, if you do expect miscommunication and mistakes.

Focus on the bigger picture

Its clear dyslexics have a grand vision and see all the possibilities. Its not that they don’t care about the details, but rather haven’t considered them yet. Once locked into the details, there is a certain amount of  perfectionism which creeps in but generally details are boring… and for boring people (smile).

They tend to be 3 steps ahead but haven’t considered what step 1 or 2 actually are. They tend to work backwards not forwards. Dyslexics tend to have great intuition, think of everything being loosely connected and I imagine its really annoying but some understanding of this will help greatly.

Remember they are holding back their natural state and creativity to fit in a world where its less respected. Go with their intuition as magical things will happen.

Expect the unexpected

Ask a dyslexic for the plan and they will tell you one thing but ask them again in a few days and it will change. Theres a element of keeping all the options/possibilities open and bouncing around the options at will.

This can be exciting because everyday is new but this can also be exhausting. A lot of dyslexics force themselves to routines but left to their own means would happily change it up in a flash.

Things will be lost

Lots of dyslexics tend to misplace things and lose things quite a bit because they put it in the wrong place. Its common for dyslexics to leave things in the fridge, bathroom or at someone else’s house.

This can be seen as absent mindedness but its usually because their mind is working 4 times the speed of others and the details of where things are just don’t matter as much. I can imagine this is frustrating but you can help by, giving nudges of reminders (not too many however!)

Expect lots of contradictions

Consistency isn’t a dyslexic trait. One day its one thing another day its another thing. You kind of need to get use to it, as its easier if its openly discussed and not simply judged. Dyslexics tend to like playing devils advocate a bit, so watch for that.

The mind is simply sexy

Simple as it says, they really love minds and the term sapiosexual really applies here. I’ve looked at this quite a bit and I think its down to the idea dyslexic people can experience thoughts as reality. Dyslexics also tend to be more curious about things then the average person, making them geeky about many things including the brain and ideas.

Expect lots of meta and deep conversations when you really get to know them.

Passion and emotional intelligence

Dyslexics tend to think in visions instead of language. They describe things with passion, are highly intuitive and insightful (hence the 3 steps ahead). They tend to take in or perceive through all their senses not just what they are reading or seeing.

This means a simple story can turn into something quite a bit more than expected.

Most neurotypical (not my term, but an interesting one) people are captivated when they meet or hear someone with dyslexia talk. They are totally caught up in the passion, which you don’t hear much. This is why the likes of Steve Jobs could cast his magic (Reality distortion field) They have a change the world stance which can be honest and genuine.

Team this up with a level of emotional intelligence and maturity not usually seen in most of the population and you got a one heck of a partner.

Give them space and be flexible

Don’t give up. It’s worth it in the end. I promise!

Serious point…

Saying all this, it really depends if they know and embrace their dyslexia? Many don’t know they have dyslexia and/or actively fight against it causing many other problems like low-self esteem and depression as they fight to be neurotypical.

Its a real shame and really blows me away when I meet people who have been diagnosed with dyslexia but are forced to keep quiet (hide in the wardrobe?) because of the shame they will face. This can be the difference between having a job or not sometimes. So many people I have met, work 4x as hard to make sure no one notices their mistakes, difficulties and natural state.

Changing perceptions of dyslexia #Madebydyslexia

#madebydylexia
Jody shared with me news of Richard Branson’s new charity Made by Dyslexia

Sir Richard Branson launched a new charity, Made by Dyslexia, at the world’s first “dyslexic sperm bank” this week, a concept created and produced by Y&R London. Made by Dyslexia is a global charity led by successful and famous dyslexics, and its purpose is to help the world properly understand and support dyslexia.

Absolutely!

Made by Dyslexia will campaign to change perceptions, so that dyslexia is seen as a different way of thinking rather than as a disadvantage. Working with experts and successful dyslexics, it will develop campaigns, tools and tests to explain dyslexic thinking. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists, and tech professionals are dyslexic, including Sir Richard Branson, demonstrating that dyslexic people can achieve great things when they focus on their strengths and get the right support in school.

Indeed… Recent reading of the dyslexic advantage further confirmed to me what I already knew. Dyslexia in the right environment can be a huge advantage.

The “sperm bank”, while not accepting actual donors, was chosen as a theme and setting for the launch because some sperm banks have not let dyslexics donate until very recently, and have even described dyslexia as a “neurological disease”, highlighting how far peoples’ understanding of dyslexia still needs to change. One in ten people are dyslexic, accounting for more than 6.5 million people in the United Kingdom, so this is a major issue.

Yes that sperm bank which was deeply depressing news and I already wrote about.

So great to poke fun at the stupidity of that sperm bank story.

The dyslexic success which is IKEA

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It was Zoe who pointed me at the secret taxonomy behind IKEA’s product names. I always knew there was something behind the product names but had no idea it was all the idea of a dyslexic man thinking about the world and where things fit within it.

Bookcases are named after professional occupations (Expedit means shop keeper) or boys’ names (The bestselling Billy bookcase is named after IKEA employee Billy Likjedhal). Outdoor furniture is named after Scandinavian islands (Äpplarö an island in the Stockholm archipelago and Västerön is in Aaland). Rugs are named after cities and towns in Denmark or Sweden (Ådum, Stockholm, Silkeborg), while bed sheets, comforters and pillowcases are named after flowers and plants. (Häxört or circaea lutetian is an herb in the primrose family).

The rules for naming were devised by IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad, who struggled with dyslexia and had trouble remembering the order of numbers in item codes.

This lead me to find out more about Ingvar who I knew had a checkered background, especially with the Nazis.

I didn’t know he was dyslexic but this strikes such a cord.

One day, it is reported that Ingvar Kamprad overheard one his draughtsman (a kind of designer or engineer) named Gillis Lundgren. The man had difficulties fitting a table into a transport. After many unsuccessful trials he shouted out loud: “Oh God! Let’s pull off the legs and put them underneath!” Ingvar Kamprad understood that his employee was correct in his assessment of the situation. Moreover Kamprad understood the potential of this remark.

Soon afterwards IKEA introduced new product lines of furniture which were designed to be sold unassembled. In this way the cost for manufacturing (no more assembly) and logistics (standard transport costs due to optimized measures) could be reduced significantly.

Great insight, which started a great business… Should have known

 

Dyslexics thriving in the workplace

Reading the Dyslexic Advantage
Quite a few people have said good things to me since I posted about reading the dyslexic advantage. On Saturday I finished the whole book and although there are so many great sections the last one had so much to talk/blog about

The last section which is all about work, and so very fitting…

For individuals with dyslexia, good-fitting jobs have several common features. First, they engage strengths and avoid weaknesses. As we’ve discussed, many individuals with dyslexia excel in big-picture reasoning, or the ability to see the overall features, “contours,” or implications of objects or ideas. The occupation or position in which they best display this ability depends upon which MIND strengths they possess, but as a general rule, jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well stress problem solving, troubleshooting, fixing things, coming up with new ideas, thinking about what’s missing or not being addressed, or telling stories (e.g., sales, counseling, coaching, advertising, entrepreneurship).
[…]
In contrast, individuals with dyslexia often struggle with fine-detail processing, mastering routine procedures to the point of automaticity, or rote memory. As a result, they often find that jobs that stress repetition, efficiency, consistency, attention to details, use of procedures, application of fixed rules, or routine processing tasks (especially clerical tasks that involve the manipulation and use of written symbols) are a poor fit.

I can’t tell you the cognitive pain of repetition, I find it super uncomfortable and far prefer the new and unknown. My mind wonders and before long I’m innovating my way out of doing the task as is. Better way to spend my cognitive surplus?

After choosing a job that seems to be a good fit, individuals with dyslexia should work hard to optimize that job environment by being proactive in pursuing opportunities, self-advocating with supervisors and co-workers, building partnerships, pursuing leadership opportunities, and using technologies to maximize their productivity.
Many individuals with dyslexia are especially good at spotting opportunities that others have missed and then aggressively and proactively taking advantage of those opportunities. Professor Julie Logan cited this ability as one of the most common characteristics she’s observed in the dyslexic entrepreneurs she’s studied.
We’ve also observed this ability in many of the individuals with dyslexia we’ve interviewed—and not just in business. Astrophysicist Matt Schneps told us, “One thing I’m very proud of is that I’m very good at taking advantage of opportunities. If I see something I think is useful for me, I think about how I can make the most of it and take advantage of that.” Because of this ability (and strong self-advocacy skills like those we’ll discuss later), Matt has been able to enjoy four entirely different careers over the past thirty years, all with the same employer.

Making and taking those opportunities is a big thing, which I’m certainly hard-wired for. Most people take and give out business cards as a brush off but I take them seriously. I do like to meet or follow up, see if theres a chance for collaboration. I’m also generally interested in the person and if I can connect them with someone else I might know.

A second key feature of jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well is that they engage interests. While everyone works better on tasks they find interesting and enjoyable, individuals with dyslexia are often especially dependent upon interest to produce their best efforts. In contrast, when tasks fail to engage their interest, they often struggle to perform well and remain focused. This is largely because many of the rote or automatic skills needed to perform routine tasks require more focused attention for individuals with dyslexia. This need for heightened attention can be difficult to sustain unless there are things about the job that are especially interesting. When work heightens interest and mood, dyslexics typically respond with greater creativity and performance.

Absolutely, like most people I assume but I guess I actively find my mind drifting away to more interesting things. Focus is difficult when not in my wider area of interest. I mean I’m curious about lots of things, so its really got to be something poor/bad for me.

A third key feature of jobs that fit individuals with dyslexia well is that they focus on results rather than on methods. Many of our interviewees mentioned that they often perform tasks in unconventional ways—frequently of their own devising. For example, more than half told us that they solved math problems differently from how they were taught by using unconventional methods that made more sense to them.

This is something I’ve known for a long while, I can’t help but find alternative ways to do things. This is why if you tell me a task without the bigger context/picture I find it frustrating as hell. I’m always thinking about the final impact not the individual steps to get there. Those are just details to me. Reminds me of Do you have humility, a sense of craft and can you hustle?

Jobs that allow flexibility can open the door to success for dyslexics. It’s often while devising new methods for routine tasks that dyslexics come up with innovative approaches that save time, effort, and expense and improve outcomes for everyone.
[…]
There is evidence that this kind of flexibility is often more easily found in positions very near the top or the bottom of the structures of large organizations but in shorter supply in the middle. Professor Julie Logan has found that although many large corporations have CEOs with dyslexia, fewer than 1 percent of middle managers in such firms are dyslexic.

Now this is very interesting detail… Be interesting to look into the stats for the BBC via the BBC’s Neurodiversity project.

Some large companies, like his former employer Intel, manage to maintain their flexible attitudes despite their size. Douglas Merrill also told us that supporting this diversity in thinking styles was one of his primary goals as chief information officer at Google. Douglas worked hard to give employees the greatest possible flexibility in choosing the work habits and technologies that allowed them to be their most productive. When a company shows this kind of flexibility, it’s likely to be a good fit for individuals with dyslexia. Of course, there’s no employer that can provide more flexibility than oneself, which is one reason why so many dyslexics start their own businesses.

And theres a long long list of successful dyslexic entrepreneurs. Interestingly the guardian piece pretty much says the same thing as I read in the dyslexic advantage.

Its a great book, I do wish it was more dyslexic friendly to read but the content is certainly incredible.

Reading the dyslexic advantage at last

The Dyslexic Advantage
At long last I started reading or rather listening to The dyslexic advantage. I’m totally blown away by what I’ve been reading. I mean I knew most of this but the science behind it and how it can be a super power; has literally shocked and moved me. I have written about my own dyslexic a few times including in everyday life, in the media and my thoughts about how it may affects relationships.

From the very start the book sets its agenda, to look at dyslexia strengths and less about its weaknesses…

Most books on dyslexia focus on problems with reading and spelling. While these problems are extremely important, they’re not the only—or even the most important—things that individuals with dyslexia find critical for their growth, learning, and success.
As experts in neuroscience and learning disabilities, we’ve worked with hundreds of individuals with dyslexia and their families. In the process we’ve found that individuals with dyslexia often share a broad range of important cognitive features. Some of these features are learning or processing challenges—like difficulties with reading and spelling, rote math, working memory, or visual and auditory function. But others are important strengths, abilities, and talents; gifts we call the dyslexic advantage. While these features differ somewhat from person to person, they also form recognizable patterns—just as the different musical works of Mozart are distinguishable yet recognizably the work of the same composer.

Theres many paragraphs but I wanted to share some of the key ones I’ve read so far. The whole book focuses on M.I.N.D strengths, which are the 4 key strengths dyslexics share or in parts.

I personally have a strong amount of all 4. They are not saying its only dyslexics which have them but much more likely and much more strongly. Think of them like the Big 5 personality traits rather than Myers-Briggs types.

  • M-Strength for Material Reasoning, which is primarily reasoning about the position, form, and movement of objects 3D space
  • I-Strengths for Interconnected Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to spot, understand, and reason about connections and relationships (e.g., analogies, metaphors, systems, patterns)
  • N-Strengths for Narrative Reasoning, which is primarily the ability to reason using fragments of memory formed from past personal experience (i.e., using cases, examples, and simulations rather than abstract reasoning from principles)
  • D-Strengths for Dynamic Reasoning, which is the ability to accurately predict using patterns derived through experience the future or the unwitnessed past

The I, N & D Strengths are very much a key part of me (M too, but maybe a little less so). I always seen the world in one massively connected ecosystem. Everything is connected and its hard trying to explain to others how it all meshes together.

Patterns are observed and seem to stick in my mind. They seem to exist as a narrative or at least are stronger as narrative. This is extremely useful when finding my way places again unfolds as a narrative rather than a map or directions.

For dyslexic brains, excellent function typically means traits like the ability to see the gist or essence of things or to spot the larger context behind a given situation or idea; multidimensionality of perspective; the ability to see new, unusual, or distant connections; inferential reasoning and ambiguity detection; the ability to recombine things in novel ways and a general inventiveness; and greater mindfulness and intentionality during tasks that others take for granted.
Nondyslexic brains often excel at applying rules and procedures in an expert and efficient manner. Dyslexic brains often excel at finding “best fits” or at ad hoc problem solving.

I hadn’t really thought about it this way but makes so much sense. Maybe this is why Art just makes sense for me. Its also clear a gist, conversation, sentence or just a word can spring tons of connected thoughts. For example the idea of “local evil” which was a title for a event had my mind cycling for weeks.

The cluetrain manifesto is another example, from the 95 rules I could almost tell the thesis as a complete narrative without reading any of them. My favourite being #7 Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

The power of Interconnected reasoning lies in its ability to link all of an individual’s knowledge, ideas, and mental approaches into an integrated conceptual matrix. This integrated matrix is incredibly powerful because it allows objects of thought to be approached from many different angles, levels, and perspectives, so they can be seen in new ways, related to other phenomena, and understood in a larger context. The three core skills, or I-strengths, that help form this conceptual matrix are the abilities to detect relationships between different objects of thought, the ability to shift perspectives or approaches, and the ability to reason using a global or top-down perspective.

Can’t tell you how useful this is, its sometimes hard when explaining to others different angles or the bigger picture. Maybe this is why the end of interstellar just made such sense and I actually use it in a few presentations.

Variations not versions
While talking about D-strengths and the incredible power of insight, this point was made.

“Given a problem and an hour to solve it, we typically spend the first three minutes intuiting the answer, then spend the other fifty-seven backtracking . . . to check our results through data collection and deductive logic.” According to Sarah, this intuitive approach “functions in leaps rather than by neatly ratcheting intervals” and is “less lineal than iterative or circular.”
This intuitive approach—used very heavily by individuals with dyslexia who excel in Dynamic and Narrative reasoning—can be very powerful, but it does present a problem: when viewed from the outside it can look an awful lot like goofing off.

Absolutely… Its always painful to backtrack and explain the leaps in thinking. I know its a important part of the scientific process but it doesn’t stop it being not the way our minds are wired.

To be honest, I felt like its not just the education system which is trying to kick this out of us but also society. Partly if you look at the systems which surround us and who is writing them.

One day at work she was standing by her office window staring serenely out at the mountains while trying to let her mind “ease itself around a problem.” Her CFO walked by her door, looked in, and saw one of “his people” staring out the window, so he snapped at her to get back to work. Sarah calmly replied, “You work in your way, I’ll work in mine. Now stop interrupting me.” Sarah later wrote of this episode, “What this CFO didn’t know was that staring into space is precisely how we work. It is our capacity to throw our brains into neutral and let connections assemble . . . that makes it possible for us to see connections that others can’t. We relax into the work.”

I can’t tell you the disbelieve some people have around me working in the northern quarter. The different buzzy environment completely changes the way I think, like staring out the window or being less focused.

This need for patient reflection can also create enormous problems at school, where time for reflection is in critically short supply. Try convincing a teacher that staring out the window is how you work best or that “getting busy” means you’ll get less done. Yet this passive and reflective approach really is a valid problem-solving method, and there’s plenty of scientific evidence to support its validity and effectiveness. In the research literature, this method of problem solving is referred to as insight.

Absolutely… Says it all! Always said hours does not equal effort. I’m personally more effective late at night, when I’m in a more relaxed state and have room/space to think wider and larger. There was a period when I found it hard to sleep because my mind just buzzed away.

Although insight-based problem solving is very powerful, because much of its connection-making process takes place outside the person’s conscious awareness, it can often seem second-rate, mystical, shoddy, or even slightly disreputable. But there’s an observable neurological mechanism underlying insight that’s been well worked out over the last decade by researchers.

Yes insight is always seen as hooky, non-scientific or a joke. There is a large section debunking insight as this but its well worth a blog post on its own. But I think this is a fitting end to insight discussion.

…As teachers, parents, co-workers, and bosses, we need to be watchful for individuals who frequently reach the right results through insight, and when we find them we need to treat their different reasoning style with the seriousness it deserves. Not all staring out the window is productive reasoning, but quite a lot is; and it’s important to understand that some people—including many of the most creative—really do need to “relax into their work.”

I haven’t even finished the Dyslexic advantage but I’m already raving about the book. Its clarified many things and given much more fuel for the things I kind of knew was true but found hard to explain. Gaining deductive logic or insight about my insight (ha!)

This is the kind of book with some tweaking could be a very powerful book for young dyslexic children growing up. Its a little inaccessible but the audio book is great and having both really works.

Dyslexia, creativity and diversity

The advert that caused controversy, asking for dyslexic people

I am a subscriber to the codpast which is a excellent podcast about dyslexia and dyspraixa. Almost every episode is great and I started going through the back catalogue a while ago. There are some suprises like how I kind of warmed to Peter Stringfellow (I never thought I ever would).

But the most recent one really got me rewinding once I finished in the shower (I tend to listen to podcasts in the morning while getting ready for work)

Creativity is often seen as the preserve of artists, musicians and writers, but Chris Arnold, founder of ad agency The Garage, sees creativity as an essential aptitude needed to make it in the world of business.

With dyslexia and creativity tightly linked, Chris put his money where his mouth is and courted controversy when he posted a job ad stating, ‘Only dyslexics need apply’!

 

I wish there was a transcript but its such a great listen…

What do I make of the advert? Well the word “Should” makes all the difference in my mind. If they said they would “only” accept dyslexic people that would be rightly breaking equality law. The law which is setup to help.

 

Neurodiversity as a superpower?

I always loved the idea of the listening project and of course took part in it myself with the lovely Kate. The editors enjoyed the last part of conversation, which we still haven’t actually gone through with yet?

It was Kate who included me in this tweet about Leanne and Eloise talking about dyslexia as a superpower. Something I’m fully behind being dyslexic and living in a world of the neurotypical.

The Dyslexic advantage is quite something, along with the videos; in this regards. I remember Malcolm Gladwell getting a lot of attention for saying something similar in his book David and Goliath. Desirable difficulty, I believe were the words.

It’s slightly ironic, when reading about the sperm donation place which was turning away dyslexic men. I’ve also been thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of telling young children about their superpower. Can this be a good or bad thing? It’s really hard to say, especially because I don’t have kids, so have no skin (as such) in the game. But of course it doesn’t stop me from chipping in with something anyway.

I was talking with a colleague recently and we were talking about the joy of seeing neurodiverse people doing what comes naturally, instead of trying to fit in with the neurotypical view. For example, I write as I talk, this isn’t the way you write… lots of people tell me. So I tried to adopt this, but in the end gave up knowing it simply was not the way which works for me. I am obviously a lot happier because of this but I’m still waiting for the technology to catch up.

Street art in Manchester's Northern Quarter

The colleague is a very visual thinker and prefers to communicate in pictures. One of the many great things I seen is this person writing emails using gifs and very little text. Its sounds nuts but it works so well and I’ve started wondering why this doesn’t happen more often? I mean Emjoi’s are becoming more common place, I seen Gif usage increasing in spaces which support them like Instant messaging, Twitter, Slack, etc. I even have a task to install a few apps so I can create my own.

Media which expands human communication and curiosity?

Superpower or magic

How about that for a superpower?!

Anger upon hearing about dyslexic sperm donors turned away

Gattaca

Hwayoung told me something which knocked me for 10 in a irish bar last night.

I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t believe I had not heard about it. Then looking at the piece, we noticed it was during the holiday period (Tuesday 29th December) when nobody is paying attention.

In a practice branded “eugenics” by campaigners and a would-be donor, theLondon Sperm Bank has banned men with dyslexia or other common conditions it described as “neurological diseases” from donating.

A leaflet to donors lists a series of conditions the clinic screens for, including: attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], autism, Asperger syndrome, dyslexia and the motor disorder dyspraxia.

The fertility regulator has launched a review of the London Sperm Bank after being alerted to its practices by the Guardian.

I am sadden and angry by the whole notion… to be honest and reminds me of gattaca.

Being ENTP, dyslexic and there effect on relationships?

The Breath of God

I have drafted this blog for a while now and rewrote it a few times, then I read Chris’s blog post about Aspergers and decided it was time  to post it and be done thinking about it. I’m going to split the big post up. This one about relationships. The other about what its like being dyslexic and daily life. Of course they both intersect.

Now to be absolutely clear I’m talking for myself, but doing some very basic research online, its clear there is a trend. But, outside peoples first hand written accounts I can find little academic research.

I’m also going to refer to the myers briggs personality indicator later, feel free to rant and rave about how much bollox it is but I see it as a useful frame for reference purpose.

I’ve had a lot on my mind. Some of it was slightly upsetting, some best ignored and some best forgotten. But out of it came the thoughts I’ve been thinking for a long while.

  1. Do I actually want to meet somebody and settle down (or similar)?
  2. Being incredibly social, confident and regularly meeting new people how am I still single? (said without sounding like a douche bag)

The answer is yes I do want to meet somebody and maybe settle down (if thats how you want to put it) but being very social seems to get in the way of  love, some say to me. This is why I kind of went with the sapiosexual term (although I do appreciate, its not really a sexuality – thanks Tom Morris for the long blog hammering this home – I hear you).

Ian Forrester

About me (cheers Adewale for the picture)

I am quite extroverted, charismatic and a slightly charming ENTP. Looking at the traits which seem to be associated with dyslexics who have made it into places and positions which best suit them, this seems quite common. Its hard not to fall for the charms of someone with such traits. Most people only know, dyslexia traits in relation to learning, education and perceived notions of intelligence. There seems to be far less about other aspects of being dyslexic.

My hypothesis is there is a strong link between dyselxia and the personality types ENTP and INTP.

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crack-pot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.

– Thomas J. Watson

Being extroverted, I enjoy the company of people a lot. The feeling of connectedness is comforting and enjoyable. I feel enriched by people. I can spend time alone but I feel bored after a while, maybe this is why I spend so much time in the bar/cafe downstairs and work best out of a busy environment like a coffee shop.

This is why my holiday in Tokyo was always going to be amazing for me. Even with its culture shock, I loved it. Somebody at work went to Tokyo at the same time as me and described it as one of the most loneliness places they have ever been. I was slightly shocked by this although I can understand where they were coming from.

People have commented that maybe the reason why I don’t need/can afford to be so picky, is because I  fill my time with the company of other friends. For some reason the percentage of female friends is higher than most men I know too. Don’t ask me why, but I have thoughts (for another blog post maybe)

So what about intimacy? Of course I would argue the time shared with certain friends can be pretty intimate, but if you mean sex… well thats a different kettle of fish and been redacted.

The fear of missing out

My life is a blur of work/personal/social, I couldn’t really imagine it any other way. I’m unsure if this is a dyslexic trait or a personality type as I haven’t seen this in a lot of other dyslexics. But its clear I tend to get bored if I’m not working on one of many personal/work projects. There is a slight fear of missing out but really its about as Jason Silva comments, about choice collapsing possibilities. I love and work in abstracts and linked possibilities. This practically makes me slow to pick from a menu (a very basic example) as collapsing the possibilities is a pain.

I fill my life with stuff to do because I really do enjoy it. I know for others it sounds like a nightmare. But I admit there has been times when its impossible to get a date in the calendar because I’m so busy.  I did try and leave spare time in my calendar as a new years resolution one year, but failed.  It wouldn’t be totally wrong to say I might too busy for love but not in the crappy way that article says. Heaven knows what would happen when/if I have children. Although I’m sure things will just change as they do.

Diabolo

Defining my own reality

ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up and pushing them in clever new directions.

I define my own reality, this can be seen as quite arrogant but frankly I have tried to live by what society and others suggest. I  recognise patterns which work for a while then breakdown. This isn’t to say I’m not willing, can not compromise or change. But there are some things which I know can’t be easily changed from previous experience.

Sometimes life isn’t about chasing love. It’s about creating it. And that’s what I’ve got to do now. I’ve got to create my own love so that future love has a fighting chance. I owe myself that much…

I certainly think this is true hence why I persist. I’m carving out something unique by spreading some love around by sharing my reality with friends and family, you only have to look at the amount of parties, BBQs, etc I do and have done. My hope is I’ll share it with someone who understands and loves the way I view the  world.

one thing ENTPs are good at, it’s coming up with a never-ending stream of innovations and ideas to keep things moving forward, and this is evident in their romantic relationships as well. For people with the ENTP personality type growth is key, and even before they’ve found a dating partner, they imagine all the ways that they can experience new things together, to grow in tandem. This can be an overwhelming process if their partner doesn’t match up, but when ENTPs find someone who shares their love of intellectual exploration, watch out

Limits of growth

Continuous growth comes at a cost

Continuous growth is something in economics I’m unsure about because of the sustainability of it. How ironic I worry about the sustainability in economics when the endless learning and intellectual exploration is a goal I pursue.

ENTPs see either growth or stagnation and don’t buy into the idea of a happy status quo, making them demanding as much as they are exciting. Some may tire in the face of this constant improvement – while ENTPs’ vigor can be attractive, it can also wear down even the most patient partners.

I’m consistently doing, trying, achieving new things/projects and to be honest I can see how tiring it is for some of my past partners. Heck its even tiring for me sometimes (rarely) It takes a lot make me super excited but the idea of improvement, sharing and exploring ideas certainly excites me no end (literary! )

…ENTP personalities may even ignore their partners’ feelings altogether, instead immersing themselves entirely in some distant idea or opportunity, inaccessible.

I am known to be distant or too busy doing something else, not only physically but mentally. I’m unsure why but I just seem to disappear elsewhere. Like when I was young, I would daydream about linked concepts and opportunities. Its weird because I seek the flow state but its like I’m bored or something? This obviously seen as a reflection on the partner and therefore you can only imagine the chaos this causes in relationships.

Of course I battle with myself to try and turn things around but honestly I have tried so hard over time and its just me, I accept it as a weakness and my greatest strength. We all have our issues, deep down that nobody wants to talk about. I try to be up front and honest about stuff but so far its not really worked out.

Rumi - What you seek is seeking you

What I’m seeking?

Knowing myself, I tend to look for something quite different in potential partners. Its certainly not about the looks, with a understanding of how I think, its hardly surprising I’m about what goes on in the mind. Lots of my friends laugh as I tend to pick personality over beauty. Not to say beauty doesn’t factor into things but its not my primary focus. Confidence, independence and geeky passion for growth and improvement are super sexy to me.

I need lots of space and freedom to explore, I would hate for my partner to be waiting for me to get home, especially when I get into something. The ideal partner would be out doing her own thing too, when we come together it would be special. This isn’t what everybody sees as a healthy relationship but looking around, I know it can work. I have friends in serious committed relationships who spend much time apart for various reasons.

There is a theory that the ideal person for a ENTP would be a INTJ

The ENTP and INFJ were meant to be together because the ENTP shares his intuition all the time. Most people do not like to hear intuitions and theory they don’t understand in conversations. The INFJ has the same skill at idea generation that the ENTP has. When the ENTP talks, the INFJ can listen and understand his very advanced intuitions. INFJ’s and ENTP’s both like systems. The INFJ finds people systems more interesting; the ENTP systems of things. When they communicate something special happens. The ENTP talks and the INFJ comprehends and listens automatically. That means the ENTP feels listened to and completely understood.

I have no idea if this is really helpful as its unlikely that I would ask women for their personality type. On top of that, as we already know, love is far more complex and unquantifiable.

Flowing memories

So why am I sharing this all?

I don’t know, I guess there is a feeling that being open and honest may explain some of the relationship breakdowns or why I’ve been dating quite a bit. I of course hope it will make it easier for others to come to terms with there own quirks and intricacies.

It certainly feels like the longer I wait the easier it is to be honest about this stuff. Although I’ve already said maybe too much. However its worth noting this post was about twice the size with many more spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Its hard collapsing all those possibilities, taking opportunities to flow with people and balance them with traditional notions of relationships. I say traditional because I’m very happy to see things changing for the better, changes which reflect the diversity of the people within it. Maybe one day I won’t be that unusual, till then I guess I live up to my personality type and hope some lovely independent, geeky, feminist women read this and think oh yes I the sound of him (I joke).

Ian and Tara

But seriously, some of this sounds quite emotional? I’m really fine with everything, I edited out a lot. This is more an acknowledgement of the tricky reality I will always face when it comes to having a long meaningful relationship.

Dyslexia the reality of daily life…

IMG_1425

I had drafted this blog for a while now and rewrote it a few times, then I read Chris’s blog post about Aspergers and decided it was time  to post it and be done thinking about it. I’m split the post up. This one about daily life. The other about love. Of course they both intersect.

I am a proud dyslexic, I came out (as such) along time ago and even have it in my blog subtitle. I write openly, hoping this will encourage the many other dyslexics and generally more neurodiverse people to come out (in lui of a better word).

From the start

I always knew I was different when I couldn’t spell short words, the lessons made little sense and I was easily distracted by other stuff. The words had a code/pattern which made no sense to me. By the time of primary school, it was clear something was different about me.I couldn’t follow peoples voice directions without translating it into a map or something visual.

Tying laces, ties or knots was a small nightmare mainly due to trying to remember which hand is left and which is right. Because of this I became slightly ambidextrous which would confuse things further

My primary school  did send me for dyslexia testing but I never finished it and so my dyslexia wasn’t officially diagnosed till over 10 years later at Ravensbourne College while trying to write my final year dissertation. This means I had no help, allowances or support all the way through secondary school and most of my college life.

Reading was also difficult for two reasons. The line lengths and the words. My mum would regularly take me and my sister to the local library and I managed by reading lots of non-fiction.

In that period of time, the seed was set in my mind and I read up about dyslexia and found coping mechanisms which centred around using computers to remember everything I couldn’t remember or spell. I bought a  2nd hand HP 200LX pocket computer with my saved up paper round money and used for lots of things. That was my first and I followed that with the Compaq Areo and Ipaqs.

Time management

I am notoriously bad with time. But thats only half the story. The reason why I’m so bad is because I tend to pack a lot in. To give you an example.

I live all of about 10mins walk from the Piccadilly Station (the major station for Manchester) Knowing its only 10mins away I tend to leave about 15mins before the time of the train leaving, I should really leave 20mins before to be sure. But what typically happens is knowing I can make it in 10-15mins, I end up doing stuff right up to the last minute I can leave. Maybe I can send off a few more emails, put bleach in the toilets, empty the recycling, etc, etc. With that I end up rushing to catch the train.

The way I see time is more elastic than others and this does seem to be dyslexic trait.

Time management is very difficult, if not impossible for many Dyslexics.   This is not due to them being lazy, thoughtless or uncaring. Dyslexics are right-brain dominant thinkers and live in the present. The past and future belong to the left-brainers.

A Dyslexic tends not to look at their life in any kind of a systematic way. They are often called “free spirits”, “flighty” , “unfocused” or “easily distracted” .

Welcome to the flow

I also tend to get fully immersed  in things and tend to forget about time as I enter the flow state. Luckily the flow state tends to be with other people as we bounce ideas around.  So its not directly responsible for missing the train most of the time but there are many times when chatting with somebody or some people, that time will just slow down and I wont even realise what time it actually is, meaning I’ll miss the last train or bus home.

Flow is a interesting state and there are certain people I feel the flow with more than others. The other night at a party I was pleasantly surprised to meet a women who I suspected was dyslexic but look through her book shelf confirmed it. We talked till 3am and to be honest could have talked the rest of the night easily. Insert joke about two dyslexics in a cafe never leaving.

I’m curious about everything and find creative people  quite attractive (this is where the sapiosexual stuff comes). I do find people concreted in reality a bit boring and tend to ignore them a little. I find these people too straight-laced and too conformist for my thoughts. I am not conformist… I’m black, I’m dyslexic and a self confessed geek. I have found my as a bit of spokesperson for the all of those things at times in my life. People come to me with stereotypes in mind and I break them in half. I won’t lie, I kind of enjoy the look on their face when I challenge their stereotypes.

Know thy self is what they say, and to be honest through my life experiences I do know who I am.

Working with dyslexia

I feel my mind is consistently on the go, bouncing from concept to concept. A few people in the organisation, have said “we pay you to think” and I frankly that plays to my strengths.  I am so grateful to be in a job which fits but I know so many dyslexics people who struggle with their job positions.

BBC R&D is very academic and frankly I haven’t chosen a  academic course for my life. Luckily the research world is in the middle of being radically changed by the internet (like most things) and this means conceptual thinking and collaboration is better treasured. If I had applied to join the department in the past, my cv/application would have been binned. But I was adsorbed into the department with my position as BBC Backstage.

I find work is full of people who are bound by the tangible and my unique selling point is the intangible, forward thinking and the essential need to collaborate. This why I partly find academic papers interesting (building on other ideas) and ever-so backwards (why are they so hard to write?)

I have little time for non-collaboration, I actually think every project I have ever done in BBC R&D, have been done with an external organisation of some kind. Information security love me, as I use tools which have collaboration baked in. They must have a fit every-time I try something new but I do take security seriously and struggle through end user licence agreements to understand whats really going on.

Literacy, language and memory

This is the stuff everybody thinks about when they think about dyslexia but there’s other elements which you may not think about. Consistent with most dyslexics my short term memory is bad. Trying to remember a phone number, ip address or email is a little nightmare. I changed my voicemail to reflect this issue.

Reading out-loud from a book or text is a nightmare I don’t have to visit too much since leaving school. Sometimes I forget the problem till I get up and start reading. For example I read a chapter from my book in a get together and the feelings of trying to do it came flooding back. Its the reading and speaking outloud, its not being in front of a small number of people or talking. I do that all the time and learned to ditch speaker notes and find my own style which just happens to be best practice for presentations.

Learning a different language is painful to say the least. I don’t know if its a dyslexic trait but I have such a hard time trying that it seems almost pointless. Thankfully the technology has my back, as I found out in Tokyo.

The future is intangible

I am seriously blessed to born in a age where whats in your head isn’t a sign of intelligence. However not everybody has got the message yet.  The nature of business has changed and being authentic and collaborative is key. Its also very clear a diverse workforce is better than a monolithic workforce.

I met a woman once who wrote a academically sound paper as a series of videos. She passed her PhD with the series of videos and her fight to get it accepted is something I’m not unaccustomed to.

I’ve had to fight for many things in my life and to be honest I will never go down without a fight. Being dyslexic is a card which I was dealt and there are advantage and disadvantages. Especially when it comes to my social and love life…

Could I imagine life not being dyslexic? Heck no!

(To be continued soon…)

The ragged state of dyslexic help in Manchester

Skies above Manchester

I hadn’t heard of Ragged talks but I was convinced to go as there was a talk about Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia.

Ragged events are about getting together in social spaces, putting our feet up, breaking bread, and enjoying learning something new.

I like to think of Ragged talks as something between BarCamp and Tedx. Its certainly not as grand as a Tedx but much more pulled together by the community like a Barcamp. Their ethics and guidelines are well thought out too. But its single track and can be about anything interesting, theres also food and its free just like a barcamp.

I skipped Technights to attend Ragged talks and the two talks were certainly interesting.

Roger Broadbent gave the first talk – Making Manchester a Centre of Excellence for Dyslexia. It was shocking to hear how bad Manchester is for dyslexia support. It all seems to come from one man who use to be at the top…

A Labour MP has claimed dyslexia is a myth invented by education chiefs to cover up poor teaching (BBC 2009).

Backbencher Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley, describes the condition as a “cruel fiction” that should be consigned to the “dustbin of history”.

He believes the reason many children cannot read and write properly is that the wrong teaching methods are used.

But Charity Dyslexia Action said the condition was “very real” to the 6m people in the UK affected by it.

Writing in a column for the website Manchester Confidential, Mr Stringer said millions of pounds were being wasted on specialist teaching for what he called a “false” condition.

Also in the Guardian (2009). Shocking stuff, and it seems to have caused a chilling effect on Manchester schools and support. Of course theres many people trying to reverse (small and large) this but I haven’t seen this level of ignorance in a long long time.

The second talk was about slow TV its story and its surprises… or as I prefer it ambient TV. I have heard of it and saw some of views following the BBC’s attempt at slow TV.

Surprisingly, it was quite interesting and started thinking about links to Perceptive Media. Quote of the night come from Tim Prevett while explaining why slow TV works….

Silence is better than bullshit

I enjoyed the Ragged talks and may end up doing a talk if they allow me. Always good to go new places and try new things, there seems to be a ton of events in Manchester to discover.

If I was offering advice to young dyslexics…

… what advice would I give…? Well first I would watch the video above!

This is a question I ask myself after reading the Guardian’s post about writing tips for dyslexic kids.  I think myself and Tom are pretty much in agreement, but here’s my thought alongside his top liners.

Tip 1: sometimes the things we struggle with can be the most rewarding.

I struggled with writing for many many years and now I write almost every single day and publicly. Many of non-dyslexics fear writing publicly but I do it for myself. Its hard when you get people picking holes in your own words but keep going it is very rewarding. Its the grit of getting knocked and coming back stronger, which will make you stronger in the future.

Tip 2: never be afraid to think visually.

Absolutely, and its important not to feel ashamed for thinking differently. You are gifted in many ways. visual and spacial thinking is beautiful and fascinating. The medium still needs to catch up but push it and make it work for you. I’m no longer waiting, I’m building it to suit me. You should do the same.

Tip 3: Try not to get annoyed and throw a book/custard pie/tantrum at anyone who corrects your reading*.

They just don’t understand and will never understand how painful it is having people corrected over and over again. Its not you being dumb, its only one disadvantage, in a massive arsenal of advantages. Feel better by doing something you love straight afterwards if you feel the need to get very upset.

Tip 4: don’t be afraid to surround yourself by what you love.

If you are not doing what makes you happy find ways to escape, ultimately it will make you unhappy. Treat it as a problem which needs to be solved in the most creative way you can. This also applies to people as well. If somebody is making you feel rubbish, tell them and if they still won’t listen, avoid them, basic communication till they change. Love is passion and underestimated by many

Tip 5: if anyone goes at your work with a red pen, grab it off them, snap it in two and throw it out of the window, then ask them to read what you have written, rather than correct it.

Absolutely! Recognise that its always easier to pick holes and correct than start. Put a blank piece of document/paper in front of them and ask them to start writing, see how they get on with the pressure. Conformity is boring and will make you ultimately unhappy.

Tip 6: poetry often works to a structure, you know that a certain line rhyme with another, it makes you think about words. It’s like the foundations of a house are laid out in front of you, and you have to add the walls and roof.

Poetry can be messed with, there is plenty of room for your creativity. The constraints are there to drive creativity not hinder it. Think on your feet and don’t try and emulate somebody else.

Tip 7: don’t be scared of a blank piece of paper, it’s the best thing in the world.

A blank paper, screen, wall, etc are a world of possibilities. Its waiting for your ideas and inspiration. Make your mark and never apologise for making a mark/your mark.

Tip 8: learn about what dyslexia is, read about it, you’ll find yourself going “I totally do that!” quite a lot. There are many others like you, all of them probably have felt isolated, stupid, like they didn’t belong at some point too.

There are others like you and me. If you understand the advantages and disadvantages, you can learn where you’re strengths and weaknesses lye. There are some great people who are dyslexic, but even better you can help others.

Tip 9: writing is about you, they are your thoughts, the things you have to say, and those can never be wrong.

No matter what people say, don’t feel the need to censor yourself and write personal things in somebody elses voice. Be creative with your words and don’t be ashamed when making up new words. Just put some quotes around it, like “thingybob” and then define it.

Tip 10: stop reading this and go write something amazing.

Agreed…  and never be ashamed of your writing and voice.. Anthony below further expands on the themes above…

Phone Etiquette for Dyslexics

I kind of hate voicemail (who doesn’t) but mine are for different reasons. Dyslexia Victoria sums it up perfectly

As a Dyslexic I have issues with different aspects of verbal and written language.  One of my pet peeves is people leaving phone messages. Callers have a tendency to start their message by saying their name quickly, launch into their message which can go on and on and then finish by saying their phone number so fast, it’s practically unintelligible.

I believe there are people who can catch these numbers but as a Dyslexic I am challenged trying to write numbers down in the correct order, especially phone numbers. I will usually get the first two and a couple more somewhere in the sequence of numbers and always reverse the two middle numbers in the last set of numbers. So for example:    1-800-346-0925 becomes –    1-8??-3??-?296

This means I now have to go back and play the message several times to get the name and phone number and some of the message. This drives me crazy..

Yes it drives me crazy too, so much that I changed my voicemail message to ask people to slowdown and repeat their number. I certainly concur with the suggestions…

Here are some suggestions for people leaving messages because you never know if the person writing the message down is numbers and word challenged.

  • When you begin say your name slowly and clearly, who you are with if applicable and your phone number.

  • Say the phone number slowly and clearly and then repeat it.

  • Keep your message short and clear

  • End your message with your name and phone number said slowly and clearly

HBO’s Rethinking Dyslexia

Somebody suggested I seek out HBO’s one hour special on rethinking dyslexia. The special is called the big picture movie and had me in slight tears to be honest.

From IMDB

Successful leaders in Business, law, and Politics reflect on their Dyslexic experiences as we follow the story of Dylan, a high school senior who is must overcome the challenges of Dyslexia to achieve his dream of getting into a competitive college. By following his journey as well as other children, we come to see how many myths and misconceptions there are about Dyslexia, and how it offers gifts as well as challenges. Recent findings in neuroscience reveal for the first time that Dyslexia is physiological challenge, and Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, top experts, explain how Dyslexia works and what the opportunities are. Written by bronyaur

And the two reviews are excellent too.

The film does a great job at allowing the viewer to understand many of the challenges faced by dyslexics. Most don’t realize what dyslexia really is and how many people it effects. I wish the film offered solutions or let people know that they can deal with dyslexia if their school teaches them correctly. People need to know that they can learn to read and spell much better if the proper method is used. Specifically the Orton-Gillingham method or the Wilson method works. Whole language method is an absolute failure for anyone with dyslexia or a dyslexia related issue. This film is inspiring for dyslexics but should be watched by all. Fight for your children. Don’t let the school systems label your kid as LD, instead make sure they know your kid is dyslexic, and as such needs specific OG methods to learn properly.

The documentary is excellent and I have already sent a link to my parents and sister. Hopefully give them more insight into how I think and go about things.

I recently bought the Dyslexia the advantage (although I got to say its not very dyslexic friendly from a quick look, so as usual I got the ebook version too) and am looking into different methods which I have never heard of including the the Orton-Gillingham method and  Wilson method. The more I learn, the more I wish I knew back when I was in school. There is a level of regret but like in the documentary my character was changed (maybe) for the better because of the mountains I had to climb as a result?

Mindmapping… collaboration, mobile, presentation and more

Business Analyist, User Experience, Front-End Architecture Practice MindMap

I looked at my design work from my college days and noticed a serious amounts of Mindmaps. The mindmaps are not as big or as connected as I tend to make them now but I have been mindmapping for decades. For a short while I use to use Outlining tools which can be pretty straight forward but lacks the dimension.

Mindmapping seems synonymous with dyslexic. Maybe something to do with  the leaps of topic?

As I’m a open source and collaborative kind of guy, I looked into something which I can run in Ubuntu and run across over multiple platforms. Collaboration is a nicety which I wanted but thought might not be possible.

Well I found something. Its called Mindmup.

I was using Freemind which is open source and runs every platform and seems to become the defacto open standard for mindmaps. Mindmup is also open source supports import and export freemind *.mm files without any noticeable differences . It also supports similar keyboard mappings and runs completely in a modern browser. It seems to support CSS and SVG too.

The killer features for me is the collaboration. The ability to share and have people add to your mindmap seems to be a killer feature. Because all you need is a browser. I haven’t really used this feature much but I find a few times when it would be so very handy! Collaboration! FTW!

I’m also loving the idea of using mindmaps for project management! You can save locally, Github, Dropbox, Google Drive and even to their own proprietary storage server.

I also spotted something which I have always wanted to see. A prezi killer? Rather than creating a mindmap for the sake of a presentation, imagine if you could just step through parts in a narrative form? Well I have yet to test it but look out soon, I may do it and see how people react.

My only issue is having to use another tool to create mindmaps on my Nexus 7 tablet.  I’m using SimpleMind mindmapping which has its own desktop apps but can generate freemind files easily and also can save direct to google drive. The main reason I bought it is because its quick and easy to create maps. Which was very handy in TedXLiverpool last week. The web version isn’t quite fast enough to keep up with my thoughts unfortunately.

Ok I lied, I have another issue. Evernote doesn’t really understand Mindmaps. Yes I can import them via PDF or something else but it doesn’t natively understand them. Ideally I would find something to store all my mindmaps but would understand them enough to link them together. I know Hyperlinking maps is possible but only within certain applications and it tends to be proprietary.

I’m already imagining something like a XML DB or RDF store to hold mindmaps. Kind of reminds me of TopicMaps which seemed to die. Sure they had a way of holding them in a more native way?

Regardless… the main point is.. I certainly felt like this before.

I have loads of ideas — they’re like a bowl of tangled spaghetti in my head. But, as with many dyslexics, I have a real problem accessing those strands in an organised way. The many benefits of mind-mapping are well documented as being invaluable to both dyslexics and non-dyslexics…