Strengths, Talents & Dyslexia


I often hear that children with learning disabilities also have many strengths that will serve them well as they mature. Can you tell me what strengths are associated with dyslexia. Right now, our 8-year-old child is having trouble believing he can be good at anything.

Andrea Pagora, Athens, GA

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Devon MacEachron, Ph.D

Devon MacEachron is a psychologist who specializes in comprehensive psychoeducational assessments.

There is a bright future for children with dyslexia who get the support they need early on. Among the skills and abilities often associated with dyslexia are three-dimensional spatial reasoning (necessary for architecture, engineering, science, etc.) and mechanical aptitude. Although students with dyslexia struggle with some aspects of language learning, they’re often ahead of the curve when it comes to language skills related to understanding analogies, metaphors, paradoxes, and similarities.

Some excel at remembering important personal “narratives” and understanding abstract information in terms of cases or examples. Others are able to perceive and take advantage of subtle patterns in complex and constantly shifting data sets.

Many highly successful people with dyslexia attribute their success directly to the different way they think. It’s no coincidence that there are significantly more people in Silicon Valley with dyslexia, and more successful dyslexic entrepreneurs than in the population at large.

They often excel in business because they were forced to hone their problem-solving skills in order to succeed in school. They also tend to develop compensatory strengths, some of which can be personality attributes. Because individuals with dyslexia have to work harder than others, they tend to have strong work ethics. And because taking notes in school proved to be a Herculean task, they often excel at strategic listening.

While adults with dyslexia may look back at their early school years as a difficult time, when asked if they would change their brain to not have dyslexia, many respond with an emphatic “NO.”

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