Jun 21, 2024 | Neurodiversity

Empowering Dyslexic Minds

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Dyslexia is a neurological condition that impacts reading and writing abilities. While often assumed that it is only about reversing letters and challenges with spelling, it is much more complex and can impact many aspects of an individual’s life.  

What is dyslexia? 

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Commonly called a reading disability, dyslexia is a result of individual differences in areas of the brain that process language. 

Dyslexia symptoms 

Dyslexia has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. In fact, most people (both children and adults) will succeed in school and in careers with additional educational, workplace, and emotional support. In some cases, dyslexia may go undiagnosed for many years, and not diagnosed until adulthood.  

Symptoms of dyslexia can vary depending on the individual, but some common symptoms based on age group include: 

School-aged children: 

  • Reading well below the expected level for age 
  • Problems processing and understanding what is heard 
  • Difficulty finding the right word or forming answers to questions 
  • Problems remembering the sequence of things 
  • Difficulty seeing (and occasionally hearing) similarities and differences in letters and words 
  • Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word 
  • Difficulty spelling 
  • Spending an unusually long-time completing tasks that involve reading or writing 
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading 

Teens and adults: 

  • Difficulty reading, including reading aloud 
  • Slow and labor-intensive reading and writing 
  • Problems spelling 
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading 
  • Mispronouncing names or words, or problems retrieving words 
  • Spending an unusually long-time completing tasks that involve reading or writing 
  • Difficulty summarizing a story 
  • Trouble learning a foreign language 
  • Difficulty doing math word problems 

The impact of dyslexia 

It can be frustrating to struggle with reading and writing skills and the associated challenges in school and work. Individuals with dyslexia may occasionally feel inadequate and have low self-esteem, unable to enjoy reading and writing, leading to anger, anxiety, and depression, and can have an impact on relationships. 

Managing dyslexia in the workplace 

One of the most important ways to manage dyslexia is to be up-front about what you need from others to succeed. Adults with dyslexia benefit from workplace accommodations, which may include additional time to complete tasks, access to assistive technology (such as text-to-speech software), spell checkers and organizational tools, as well as flexible work arrangements.  

Individuals with dyslexia are often excellent problem solvers, creative and observant, thrive at making connections, and are great big picture thinkers, to name a few. These skills should be utilized in fields and industries where they are able to leverage these strengths. 

Additionally, learning to advocate for oneself and seeking out appropriate resources will help empower adults with dyslexia to manage their challenges and recognize that support is available to help them be successful. 

Providing Neurodivergent Education Training is another tool to help encourage diversity, understanding, and acceptance. The more people know about neurodiversity, the more equipped they are to help provide support and have a better understanding of what life is like for these individuals. 

Candor Diversity Group offers several self-assessment quizzes on our website. These tools can help you identify symptoms that may relate to a particular diagnosis but cannot provide a comprehensive diagnosis. You can take the Dyslexia Quiz to estimate the risk that you may have a reading disability, but please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner if you wish to discuss the results of these assessments. 

It is key to provide understanding and address the needs of individuals with dyslexia to help them leverage their strengths. If you would like to speak more to our team about the resources Candor Diversity Group has to offer, we would love to hear from you

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