Many of us are guilty of making an association, for the better or the worse, by giving others a label. However, when individuals, are given labels, not only are they impacted by our incorrect perception, but so is our society. An article, by freelance writer Greg Voegtle, “The Dyslexia Advantage?”, helps correct a perception that still too many people have about the condition. A charity, MadeByDyslexia, is leading the way in highlighting famous individuals that have it. Here, we will summarize this article, and the many accomplishments this charity and its supporters have under their belt.
What Is the Charity’s Goal?
Ultimately to educate the world about how dyslexic minds work differently, so the world can better support and even benefit from those who have it. “Some of the world’s greatest inventions, brands, and art.” were created by dyslexics.
Given current perceptions though, too many kids are not getting the support that would allow them to flourish in school. This needs to be changed.
Did You Know?
40% of self-made millionaires are dyslexic.
Two individuals with Made By Dyslexia, are educating the globe on the importance of utilizing the unique effects it has on one’s brain, and are campaigning globally.
Founder of Virgin, Richard Branson (and self-made billionaire), is one of these people. What most don’t know, is that Albert Einstein (who developed the Theory of Relativity), and Steve Jobs, were considered: Lazy, Stupid, Incompetent.
Sarah Meredith, Director at the London Dyslexia Network Ltd, explains how our current education system doesn’t encompass the multiple forms of intelligence. She details with other education experts, how this is a disservice to students and society.
Mark Bowden (left – a former trainer to a Prime Minister for G-8 Summits), was also considered “lazy and stupid” in grade school. His teachers felt he had no potential, and refused to accept that ideas he brought up in class, were his own. The impact of how people are treated and perceived when young can influence their performance at in their career later on (and sometimes their mental health).
Richard Branson has expressed, if he didn’t drop out of school, he would have never succeeded. How many students are dropping out now, but don’t have families to support them? However, Branson goes into detail, on how dyslexia allowed him to think differently and develop solutions where others saw problems. This YouTube video shows his advice to those struggling in school.
Most students drop out of school, in order to reach their full potential? Kate Griggs, founder of Made By Dyslexia (MBD), has an alternative, which includes focusing on students strengths, and ‘re-evaluating how we attend to their struggles. Kate points out, it was this different approach, which allowed her and her son, to flourish in school, rather than flounder in incorrect perceptions.
In the 70’s, there was already teaching methods discovered which allowed her to flourish. However, her son’s potential initially went unrecognized by teachers.
What Inspired Kate?
It was the event with her son that she began her most recent campaign, Made By Dyslexia.
“Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence’s introduces the idea that people possess different kinds of minds that reflect their own unique strengths” -Dyslexia Specialist, Sarah Meredith
FIRST – What Is It and How Does it Affect Us?
The Australia Dyslexia Association (ADA) explains: “The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means difficulty with words” as “Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with aspects of reading, spelling and writing.”
What is having Dyslexia like?
Take a look at the image here; Victor Widell attempts to show us what it is like to read when you have it.
The (ADA) also note that: “Dyslexia is not a disease” and warn us that: “we should be wary about assuming that: The differences dyslexia are deficits.” As there are a number of areas that those with Dyslexia have strengths.
Is there a Relationship Between Dyslexia and Intelligence? The short and final answer and conclusion is no. If you want to read further about a study on this by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, click here.
However, there are two conclusions, from separate professors researching the topic support this:
- Professor John D. E. Gabrieli (from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
- Jack Fletcher (from the University of Houston Texas Medical Center Annex) also supports this conclusion.
Clip: Dyslexic Sperm Bank
[The Author’s Story (who is not dyslexic): In grade school, I was placed in special classes on a weekly-monthly basis, and dealt with mockery from peers and early teachers. Always behind other students in basic reading, writing, and other abilities, I assumed I was less intelligent and stupid. Without a supportive family, which some don’t have, my beliefs about what I was capable of, may have been very different. Later, I would qualify for more prestigious academic and professional opportunities. However, I know I was very lucky.]
An Incorrect Perception:
- Unfortunately, recent surveys show most people consider dyslexia to be a negative trait. –Independent, April 2017
- However, according to Richard Branson: “It is not a disadvantage; it is merely a different way of thinking.
- Apple Stock: Shares from Steve Jobs company worth $100 in 2002, would grow in value to $5,000 by 2016. This is greater than 50 times one’s initial investment. -J.B. Maverick, Investopedia, 2016
Maybe we all need to think differently.
Who is taking an initiative and making a global impact?
- Kate Griggs, Founder and CEO of Made By Dyslexia
Did You know: Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, presented Kate with the Social Inclusion Award, at a Reception in Downing Street. Doing what? Creating Solutions: “We aim to democratise dyslexia support so that every dyslexic child is identified and enabled to get the right help, and to understand their brilliant potential.” In 2007: a £900,000 pledge by the U.K. government to help “launch an initiative” in efforts to “improve support for pupils with dyslexia in school. Liz Ford, The Guardian. Due to her campaign in 2009, “the UK Government commissioned Sir Jim Rose CBE to conduct a report on how to support dyslexic pupils in state funded schools”
- Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group – Charity: Virgin Unite
He started after exiting high school in 1966, at the age of 16, “publishing The Student magazine from the basement of a rented flat.” The Guardian, 2012. Here are some of his contributions to society – creating 69,000 jobs in 35 Countries; Involvement with the Giving Pledge Campaign; Pledging to donate approximately half his fortune (a total of about 5 billion dollars) to entrepreneurial endeavours which impact our world; Virgins Employee Well Being Initiatives – A “full year of paid parental leave for new moms and dads working at Virgin Management.” – Chris Myers, Forbes 2015
About the Author:
Greg is a U.S. Political Consultant and Geopolitical Management Consultant, who likes to tell unique and compelling stories for his clients. He specializes in strategic-political communications and analysis. He has supported international humanitarian issues and previously lead Scenario Teams (for NATO) as well. If you think he can provide unique value to you, contact him at GregInternational14@yahoo.com or via his PPH profile here …
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