Dyslexia -- the word itself is difficult to read. But dyslexia has an upside, like many things that get the bad stamp, this "learning disorder" should be redefined to include the positive side.
I have a son with dyslexia. I also have a hubby with dyslexia. I am relieved that research is finding a gifted side for those with dyslexia. My husband has always claimed that he can see the big picture in difficult engineering tasks. True, he suffered in the reading department as a child, especially since no one recognized it as dyslexia. Many kids were made to feel stupid or slow. Many still feel that way. But they shouldn't. They are gifted in other ways.
The word "Dyslexia" comes from the German root dys (difficult) + Greek lexis (speech)
It's a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. (p, d and b all look the same). It's like looking at a chair, held upside down, lifted into the air. No matter which way it is held, it's still a chair. That's why the p, d and b all look the same to the dyslexic.
It has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, many have a high IQ and are gifted in the arts and sciences. Look at the likes of Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Leonardo de Vinci.
Here's the good news:
Research has found that people with dyslexia have an enhanced peripheral vision; it's called absorbing the "visual gist". They see images in the periphery that are missed by regular people.
This gift enables the dyslexic to solve difficult images faster (like the images of Escher, that depicts impossible pictures of stairs or flowing
Another study found that graduate students with dyslexia can learn and make use of difficult astronomical images whereas non-dyslexic students were unable to catch on. They concluded that dyslexics may be superior learners.
"Dyslexics also tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average. They tend to be highly aware of the environment, inventive, and good at real world tasks. Their special mode of thought also produces the gift of mastery: once they have learned something experientially, they understand it on such a deep level that they know how to do things intuitively without thinking about how." (ref)Some parents of dyslexic kids didn't appreciate this new discovery, mainly because of the struggle to help their kids learn to read. (New York Times)
From my perspective, public schools are not adept at teaching kids with dyslexia, and that's one reason I homeschooled my son. I worked with him for years, using many different programs, and we avoided all scenarios of failure. And we had success. And now I can appreciate his other talents of creativity and visual gist. See the available programs we used for dyslexia here.
Deila Taylor jumped into homeschooling 16 years ago with her third child, thinking it was only going to be for the middle school years. Now, with her fifth and last child in high school, who has never seen the likes of a traditional school, she has become an avid supporter. She blogs homeschool stuff at Mormon Homeschool and life at Eve Out of the Garden.