Why is it so hard to spell?  And what does it mean?  I would like to put it out there that it’s time to change the name.  It’s wrong according what we know in modern psychology.  Dyslexia means problems (dys) with words (lexia).  And I have three issues with this.

  1. Dyslexics typically have problems with sound, not words.  It’s just that until we go to school and are asked to turn sounds into 2D representations (that don’t make phonetic sense in the English Language) it’s easy to work around.
  2. Dyslexics are usually excellent visual 3D thinkers.  Dyslexia focuses all our attention on what’s wrong with our brains not what’s right.
  3. It’s annoying to spell.

So what could we call it instead?  I like the term ‘neuro-diversity’ but appreciate it’s also a little awkward to spell. Suggestions please anyone?

There’s another thing at work here.  The whole field is dominated by experts who don’t share the information in a way that a lay person can understand.  Psychologists write reports that are completely unreadable unless you have a few psychology degrees.  The message is “you’re too stupid to understand what’s wrong with you, or even spell the name of it!”  I apologise on behalf of my profession and politely request the following of all psychs currently writing reports.

  1. Please let’s explain terms like ‘Working Memory’, with a little mind map or bullet point list of how it might affect you.
  2. Please can we provide summary test results in a graph form so that people can see the ‘spiky profile’? We are telling people that they will understand images and diagrams better than text so let’s give them some!
  3. Please let’s keep it snappy and related to practical skills, like taking notes in meetings following instructions and digesting emails.  We can put all the technical blurb in an appendix if it’s ever needed for legal purposes.

I’d like to meet clients who found their diagnostic reports really interesting and useful in moving forward, rather than confusing jargon.  Time for a move away from the idea of dyslexia as a deficiency, which can only be helped by expensive expertise.  Knowing your own thought patterns doesn’t take an expert.  Feeling competent and confident in your talents is achievable for all dyslexics.  Or dislecksics.  And even the dislexics.

There, rant over.

For more info watch our video on understanding psychologist reports….


  1. Gina De Micheli 9 years ago

    How about a name that accentuates the positive such as 3D thinkers

    • Author
      nancy 9 years ago

      Temple Grandin refers to people as ‘specialist thinkers’ as opposed to ‘generalist thinkers’. She would call dyslexics ‘specialist visual thinkers’. See her TED lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn_9f5x0f1Q

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