Shattering the Myths of Dyslexia. Myth #1: Dyslexic Kids Are Dumb
Research continually shows that no correlation can be drawn between IQ and being dyslexic. IQ tests are not an accurate reflection of a dyslexic reader's true intelligence, and many dyslexic readers can score in average and way-above average ranges. For the fourteen years I worked with dyslexic readers, I found each child to be anything but dumb. The opposite is the case, dyslexic children are extremely bright.
Dyslexic readers' struggle is a struggle with abstract written symbols. A dyslexic thinker works, creates and innovates really well in the three-dimensional (physical world of sensory experience) world that they live in; however, in the two-dimensional, flat world of abstract written symbols and words, a dyslexic thinker can struggle mightily. Inconsistent and uninformative perceptions resulting from dealing with the 2-D world of the abstract written words can lead to frustration and confusion. This usually leads to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and discouragement. Ultimately, the confusion and overwhelm can cause significant, if not serious self-esteem issues. So, if your child is being labeled lazy, a daydreamer, unfocused, class disruptor, or worse, they come home and tell you, they are "dumb or stupid”, take solace in the fact that they may have the gift of dyslexia. Yes, dyslexia is a gift, once the associated reading disability is mastered!
In the last century, there have been hundreds of dyslexic thinkers who have made valuable contributions to our society, most notably in the fields of art, drama, music, business, sport, science, and strategy (political and military). And yet, how many dyslexic thinkers fell through the educational and societal cracks because they could not read and write well. The answer to that question may be in the tens of millions. As a dyslexic thinker and a parent of a slightly dyslexic child, I have learned that dyslexic thinkers cannot depend on our educational system – both public and private – or on traditional, multi-sensory phonemic awareness training to solve the problem of our learning differences. The parent of a dyslexic child and the child need to utilize the natural 3-dimensional learning style of dyslexic thinkers to teach them how to read, write and be able to use his or her creative mind in life.
Today, parents are challenged to get their dyslexic child pass the sixth grade, fully capable of reading and writing fluently and free of problematic self-esteem issues. Dyslexic thinkers are not dumb ... actually, they are very smart, and the USA's standard of living will be greatly impacted by the creativity and productive input of the dyslexic mind in the 21st century.
Right now is a great time to be dyslexic because for the first time since the onset of the industrial revolution, the innovative dyslexic mind is needed by our society. The knowledge-based industries need innovators and a workforce prepared in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math – to become our STEM population. Historically, hundreds of dyslexic thinkers have achieved in these areas, and from my past fourteen years of working with dyslexic thinkers, I found that every dyslexic child has a propensity to excel in STEM disciplines.
It has been said:
“Some 85% of the jobs that today’s students (Nov 2018) will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. The big question for talent acquisition teams everywhere: What will those jobs be? It turns out that many of these jobs will spin off from technologies that are emerging today — drones, alternative energy, autonomous cars, and cryptocurrencies and blockchain developments, for starters” (iftf.org).
In California, “The workforce skills gap is already a reality in California (2005, 2007, 2008 studies). … In the coming decades, slower growth in the supply of college-educated workers will be a limiting factor that changes the path of the state’s economic growth… In sum, our analysis shows that the supply of college-educated workers will not meet projected demand," (ppic.org).