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:
So 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 http://www.facebook.com/GeniusWithinLtd