Dyslexia is a learning disorder, among for example dyscalculia and ADHD, and it means that the affected one has problems learning through and grasping text of different kinds. It does not, however, mean that one has trouble understanding or remembering.
As you all know we have different ways of learning. Some might be better off with numbers or pictures, some with melodies or movement. While dyscalculia means trouble learning mathematics and numbers, and ADHD problem concentrating while being still, dyslexia is an extreme branch of the people that have problems with letters and words, and those people are making a 5-8% of Sweden’s population.
Beside this disability, dyslectics often are imaginative, creative and visual multi-thinkers, which is the reason for some to see it as a gift. People over winning their disability and turning it into academic studies often become very successful*, although the road there can be very demanding.
Christel Berg, responsible for management at the University of Lund, tells Sydsvenskan (4 October, 2007) that even though people with dyslexia can get access to a lot of material that will help them improve their studies at the university – such as voice books and extended time at tests – it is nothing that you would wish for. What dyslectics often lack, she continues, is a good study technique. However, dyslexia is no static state, and so reading skills as well as a well formed study technique can be improved.
According to my experiences of this learning disability, what many dyslectics also lack is confidence. When one has a hard time performing certain tasks that most other people do without any difficulties, one starts to blame oneself, which creates another barrier for the learning, above the one already existing.
Dyslexia is divided up into seven groups** depending on what symptoms are shown and what the so called source of the problem is. These groups are General, Writing/Motor Skills, Math/Time Management, Vision/Reading/Spelling, Memory/Cognition and Behavior/Health/Development/Personality. The principle of these groups made by Ronald D. Davis (author of The Gift of Dyslexia) is that if you have at least 10 of the symptoms from any of these groups you might have dyslexia. Ronald D. Davis also states that “The most consistent thing about dyslexia is inconsistency” – meaning that there is more to the learning disabilities than we know right now.
*Examples of famous people having dyslexia are scientist Albert Einstein, actors Tom Cruise and Keira Knightley, artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol, musician John Lennon, founder of IKEA Ingmar Kamprad, film maker Walt Disney, writer Agatha Christie, champion boxer Muhammad Ali, and former U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy.
By: Katja Slonawski, IB11