Dyslexia Awareness Week October 5th -11th will celebrate the creative strengths of dyslexics.
The Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group has launched ‘Dyslexia Creates’ as the theme for Dyslexia Awareness Week 2020. It has long been known that dyslexia creates many potential strengths. From actors through to designers and inventors, dyslexia and creativity go hand in hand. With over 30% of entrepreneurs being dyslexic these strengths are more important than ever in the current global climate.
However, dyslexia also creates challenges for many. With around a million young people in education who are dyslexic and at least 80 percent of those undiagnosed in the UK, Dyslexia Awareness Week shines a light on both the talents of dyslexic individuals and the potential tragic loss of potential when dyslexia is not properly identified and addressed in education.
Helen Boden, Director of Dyslexia & Neurodiversity In-Sight and ex-CEO of the British Dyslexia Association, said: “This week it is important to both celebrate the abilities and talents of dyslexic people everywhere but also to highlight that without adequate identification and support there is a huge loss of human potential to society. Now more than ever we need to harness this potential to find solutions to the global challenges that we are all facing”.
“Don’t hide it, embrace it, use it to make you a better person.” – Ed Davis, Governor of Gibraltar 2016 – 2020
“If identified and the correct support and teaching methods implemented children with dyslexia can go on to achieve amazing things and go into careers that with their talents and gifts can help the business of tomorrow and the world.” Stuart Byrne, Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group Chairperson.
Dyslexia Creates is part of the ongoing work of the Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group to help parents and dyslexic individuals access the support that they need.
Dyslexia is a specific learning difference that brings both positive and negative traits. The reason it is called specific is because it only impacts on certain areas of an individual, rather than being a general learning difference that has an impact on all areas of someone’s performance.
● It occurs independently of ability and socio-economic background: There is no connection between dyslexia and intelligence. Dyslexia occurs across all sectors of society.
● A different way of processing information: Research tells us that dyslexia stems from differences in the way that the brain processes certain sorts of information, particularly, it is thought, language-based information. The key point here is that it is these physiological differences in the brain that lead to the challenges that dyslexic individuals experience, it is not lack of ability, poor parenting, or poor education. There is an underlying cause.
● Dyslexic Strengths: The same differences that cause the challenges also cause the strengths due to the novel and unusual connections that the brain makes when processing information leading to unconventional thinking. Strengths can include
o Ability to identify connections or relationships in information
o The ability to see things from multiple points of view
o The ability to unite information “big picture thinking”
o The ability to think ahead and innovate
● Famous Dyslexic people include the following, but there are many more:
o Orlando Bloom
o Tom Cruise
o Whoopi Goldberg
o Kiera Knightley
o Jay Leno
o Keanu Reeves
o Billy Bob Thornton
Artists & Designers
o Leonardo da Vinci
o Ansel Adams (photographer)
o Tommy Hill Figer (designer)
o Robert Rauschenberg (modern artist)
o Auguste Rodin
o Robert Toth (sculptor)
o Jorn Utzon (architect)
Inventors & Scientists
o Ann Bancroft (arctic explorer)
o Alexander Graham Bell
o Pierre Curie (physicist)
o Thomas Edison
o Matthew H Schneps (astrophysicist)
o Paul MacCready (Engineer)
o Archer Martin (chemist)
● Every individual is likely to be different: As human beings, we are all different. Whilst there may be some commonalities associated with dyslexia, each individual is likely to be different. People are shaped not just by their dyslexia but by personality, experiences, parents, environment and numerous other factors. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a template of what dyslexia is. Each individual should be treated as an individual.
● Dyslexia quite often co-occurs with other Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD): It is not unusual for dyslexia to co-occur with other SpLDs such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (commonly known as dyspraxia), autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), dyscalculia (difficulty with maths), or speech, language and communication difficulties.
● Incidence rate and heritability: It is estimated ten percent of the population are dyslexic. This rises to 15 percent when co-occurrence is included. Statistically, this makes dyslexia the highest incidence SpLD. Dyslexia is genetic in origin and therefore is inheritable.
ABOUT THE DYSLEXIA SUPPORT GROUP:
The Gibraltar Dyslexia Support Group (GDSG) is a local charity which has been helping dyslexics since the early 90’s.
Over that time the GDSG has worked alongside many different Education Ministers and Governments. Much has been achieved but the years have passed very quickly with the improvements taking longer than expected.
The GDSG continues to promote best practices in the schools for teachers to educate dyslexic children in the way they learn best.
We try to further the understanding and knowledge of dyslexia in the general public and businesses.
As a Support Group, we are here to help, support and give advice with events which assist parents, children and teacher and just a call or email away.