the up side of dyslexia

Stephen Fry interviews Malcolm Gladwell here.

I am slightly dyslexic (obvious if you have read any of my posts!). It did not make school much fun as you can see form my reports:

“I fear that Marcus and I were doomed never to be the best of friends.”

Maths : ….his presentation is appalling,[ showing little care or precision]

French : He has a poor memory for French vocab which is a pity as he has the makings of a reasonable accent.

I  have begun to get glimmerings of a response from him when he has been praised for his work [but] if our efforts were dependent on praise some of us wouldn’t do much!]

Dyslexia is a disadvantage. It makes it hard to blog for a start. For many people it has made life much harder for them than if they were not dyslexic and they are worse off for it. “Prisons are full of dyslexics” says Gladwell. However there are also a small but “hugely disproportionate” amount of dyslectics at the top of their fields. Gladwell gives the example of euntraponers (the spelling of that word is not reachable by me via spelling checkers or even google!). He says “They will say I am where I am because of my dyslexia. It forced me to learn things that made me into the man I am today.” Fry adds, “Yet they would not wish it on their children.” Underdogs who refuse to roll over and give up can sometimes end up achieving extraordinary things, like David and Goliath, which is the title of Gladwell’s new book.

So why could being small end up being an advantage? I guess if your little legs can’t keep up with everybody else you may get lost and by chance find a shortcut through the woods that no one else would have discovered.


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