Here at DyslexiaHelp, we recently published a blog about the Upside of a Dyslexic Brain. This has certainly been a heavily debated topic, and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has published an article with its own views on it. The IDA has outlined several caveats and qualifiers around this topic, new research, as well as two calls to action.

​There have been several news stories centered on famous CEOs with dyslexia, suggesting a possible link between dyslexia and business acumen. Although there does seem to be a correlation, many questions still remain. Is a dyslexia advantage just another myth? Is it distracting us from the most important task which is learning to read? Are these talents just a compensation effect? These are important questions, and ones that cannot be answered without more empirical research.

​There have, however, been some studies done on this very topic that help shed light on the dyslexia advantage question. First, Schneps, Rose, and Fischer (2007) suggest that many with dyslexia favor the peripheral visual field over the center which results in talents for visual comparison. Von Karolyi, et al (2003) found that students with dyslexia were faster than control students at determining whether figures were possible or impossible. Finally, Geiger and Lettvin (1987) suggest that individuals with dyslexia are better able to recognize letters in the periphery than typical readers. Ongoing studies hope to establish sufficient empirical evidence to ascertain a higher representation of certain talents among those with dyslexia.

​Given this information, the IDA suggests two calls to action. The first is more research to investigate the hypothesized dyslexia-talent link. This could heighten understanding of the human condition and open important pathways for enhancing human potential. The second call to action the organization suggests is placing dyslexia and related learning differences within a cerebrodiversity framework. This could offer perspective that helps explain dyslexia and its supposed talents and deficits.

​This is certainly not only an intriguing subject, but an exciting one as well. We at DyslexiaHelp look forward to results of new studies that will continue to explore this dyslexia-talent link.

​To read the full article, check out the IDA website. [1]

 

References:

Schneps, M. R., Rose, T. L. & Fischer, K. W. (2007). Visual learning and the brain: Implications for dyslexia. Mind, Brain, and Education, 1(3), 128-129.

von Karolyi, C., Winner, E. Gray, W., & Sherman, G. F. (2003). Dyslexia linked to talent: Global visual-spatial ability. Brain and Language, 85, 427-431.

Geiger, G. & Lettvin, J. Y. (1987) Peripheral vision in persons with dyslexia. New England Journal of Medicine, 316, 1238-1243.