As we know, Dyslexia is characterised as a pattern of strengths and weaknesses.  More often than not the pattern is as follows:

Strengths: Verbal Comprehension & Perceptual Reasoning

Weaknesses: Working Memory & Processing speed.

But what are these things? Let me explain with a mind map for each concept:

Verbal Comprehension

Perceptual ReasoningWorking MemoryProcessing SpeedSo what I notice about these different areas of ability, is that the weaknesses associated with dyslexia are valued in entry level roles, and that the strengths are valued in senior, more strategic or professional roles.

This is the same issue as the kid in school who can grasp calculus but can’t remember the times tables.  Or the student who can discuss insights on Shakespearian character flaws and archetypes, but can’t write the essay.

Once a dyslexic breaks through the ‘glass ceiling’, through determination or starting his or her own business, they often succeed, because they can rely on their strengths and afford help / admin / technology with their weaknesses.

So how can we help the dyslexics who are struggling in their careers, not able to break through?  In strategy coaching we find ways to apply strong areas, such as story telling (verbal comprehension) or coloured mind mapping (perceptual reasoning) to memory tasks.

We also spend a lot of time thinking about what the dyslexic client does well.  This is because we need to remind them to keep their goals, aspirations and abilities in mind – the entry level employments don’t have to last forever, they won’t always be studying for the qualification they need.  Remembering your career in the context of your whole life can help, and inspire you to keep moving forward.

As well, sometimes a job is just a job!  Some of my most creative neuro-diverse moments come when I am planning parties for my family, or acting in my local village pantomime.  Making sure we have somewhere to shine, even if it isn’t at work, helps keep a balanced perspective.

I’d love to hear any stories from people who feel they have shattered their own dyslexia glass ceiling, or those who might want support in cracking through…. feel free to comment or visit us on facebook

  1. Faye Whittaker 8 years ago

    I skipped all the words and diagrams on here, as its impossible for me to process information.
    I am 56 and profoundly deaf, and until very recently, blamed my deafness for not understanding most things. When I struggled with (yet another) exam or business meeting, I realised I was dyslexic, which seemed odd to me as I can read and write.
    The upshot of this ongoing struggle is that I have broken through the glass ceiling without realising it.
    I have ran my own successful art business since the age of 16, and now quite famous. I took on challenges and thought out the the box at all times. I was greedy for success to prove my family and friends wrong, that through my scattiness, there was a really powerful woman.
    I have never read a book, or watched a film, without a patient person to explain to me what is happening. I push and push and wonder if I wasn’t deaf with dyslexia, would I have come this far, Who knows ?

    • Author
      nancy 8 years ago

      Well done for breaking throug that glass ceiling, Faye. The world needs to know that Dyslexia brings genius abilities, as well as struggles.

  2. Kayla Schinke 7 years ago

    There’s no cure for dyslexia. It’s a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role. ^*;”

    Have a good day
    http://healthdigest101.comdk Kayla Schinke

  3. HCT 3 years ago

    I wasn’t ‘diagnosed’ with dyslexia until I was in my mid 30s during university.
    Therefore, my schooling suffered and I was in the bottom set.

    As I mentioned above, I went into higher education after completing an Access course in college and found that really helped with my dyslexia, although there are times I still have mental blocks.

    It also helped as I was compelled to continue learning.

  4. Joseph Geisler 2 years ago

    I am finding that people who are certified Diagnosticians and or counsellors do NOT believe in the Dyslexic Genius classification!!!! This disturbs me a lot. They tell me that ALL people are UNIQUE is all and that we ALL fall into this classification. Is this reality? I am at a loss. I traveled to Florida from Missouri just so I could talk to these two councelors to hear what they had to say. When I finally found abour this new classification on Google about a year and a half ago I saw, for the FIRST time in my whole life….. ME! All the way back to kindergarten!!! All of my troubles, hardships, low GPA’s (Before Grad Schooling) easier to make A’s in Grad school courses. I HAD to learn by a profewssional secretary to STAFF my weaknesses. I finally got A reports and she even teught me that I give out TMI. To simplify these reports! Seemed silly to me but gone were the days of instructors grading my spelling, grammer, and punctuation!!! I am 73 now and it has been a LONG HARD ROCKEY road. I really think that NORMAL educated councelors should NOT try to tell us what is and what’s not!!!! We should be on their staff to help guide and straighten out their statements and thinking. The best way to help with WE who are in the top end of the chain is for us to get together and plot out our difficulties to be classified into grouping. I cried when I first read about this classification on Google and Sir Richard Branson’s take. WE ARE different!!!! The way we feel, observe, listen, SEE THINGS, cross analyze and group our findings. We wake up some nights with the answer (from God I use to say) lol. But we are different. So how come and WHY do the professional Councellors like the lady with the Phd. from California who is on line trying to play this stuff down (baised on her research). Still it is incorrect. Sure it may be true to some points. But WE need to be the ones talking and figureing things out. I hate it that it is called Geniuses as I always FIRST tell everyone I AM NO GENIOUS! Lysdexic 98 I call myself. I have always thought that I am not very smart. I have very poor rote memory, very poor. I have to repeat stuff over and over until it becomes inside me just like I had to learn to ride a bycycle and drive a car. I always mastered those and could really race well later on. But first trying to do either was not fun. I was sick a lot at an early age. Failed first grade and repeated Kindergarten. But I managed to graduate at 16 from high school. Complecated but it happened. I hate liers too so go figgure. I taught school college thru the 6th grades for many years. Award winning many times with my students. Again I would love to be analyzed and help put this stuff right before I am dead and gone. The long and hard road. I am nothandicapped like so many others in the Dyalexic classification. I have several degrees BS, almost a BA (Russian Language) But I never could master any of it. two Msasters degrees and a few others as well. Always learning. Always relearning as well.
    Any truth to the classification Dyslexic Genius???? You WILL not hurt my feelings. I just want to know what it truely is?

    • Author
      Nancy 2 years ago

      Hello Joseph and thank you for your comments. The labels in use are a broad description of symptoms and within our cohorts there is a lot of variation in symptoms, ability and success. I think if you have several degrees and Master’s it is true to say that you have some ideas of worth! Irrespective of what others may say about ‘all dyslexics’ – your achievements are very validating and confirm your own ability. Well done for travelling that hard rocky road – feel free to talk more about what your lived experience is, people do not fit neatly into boxes and all researchers can definitely benefit from listening. Did you know that the diagnostic criteria for dyslexia is different between states in the USA and between the USA and UK? Stakeholder involvement in research is a big paradigm shift in progress right now and I for one hope that we will all be better for it. 🙂

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