Dyslexia and Imagination!
Imagination is the backbone of resourcefulness. The creativity leveraged in this process is the heart of breakthroughs. It’s not just about improving what’s around but creating something new and purposeful. Envisioning an ecosystem that includes diverse outlooks is the sign of a progressive society. The question worth considering here is, can a skill like imagination be cultivated? Is there any difference between people with and without dyslexia in terms of creativity?
One of the main distinguishing factors between dyslexics and non-dyslexics is that non-dyslexics thinks in words while dyslexics think in pictures, which is more conceptual and faster in comparison to thinking in words, which is usually 150 words a minute. Since the processing of thoughts in forms of pictures is too fast and with lots of other detail information that adds more concept, the end result is less cohesion and disorientation. Example: A dyslexic may not be able to perform ordinary tasks well, but can be brilliant in building a great Lego art.
Difficulty in decoding the language form, makes it hard for them to read correctly and communicate well verbally. They are not comfortable in hearing individual sounds in words, so words don’t interest them much.
So, they naturally tap into their reservoir of creativity, imagination and innovation. Our responsibility lies in encouraging their efforts and unique outlook. Their powerful ability to dream, conceptualize and innovate help them make significant difference in the growth of society in all. Some of the best examples are: Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso, Charles Schwab, Albert Einstein, etc.
It’s our responsibility that we don’t force such incredible minds to conform to societal standards. From the starting point, i.e. at school level learning, there should be system that suits dyslexic thinking. Conventional education is a misfit for dyslexic thinkers. In order for dyslexics to be more productive, they should be exposed to a more open, inclusive, creative, skillful, free atmosphere where they can leverage their imagination and multi-dimensional view of things and bring out their vision into existence. It’s important to nurture the unique talents in dyslexic individuals.
There would be no progress in society without imagination, creativity and innovation. Dyslexics learning tools are exploration and experimentation. “Concentration” and “Focus” the high-ranked factors in learning process which makes us overlook our creative potential, which needs our minds ability to connect things beyond what is obvious. Dyslexics have a great vision along with the ability to notice all the details. Their observation skills help them discover the so-called impossible things. Their power to connect things results in enhanced problem-solving skills, also helps in understanding complex systems easily and identifying similarities within things and systems. Pattern recognition is a playful activity for them. Increased spatial knowledge is commonly found in dyslexics. They have remarkable reasoning skills too. These skills are particularly beneficial in the streams of science, mathematics, arts, architecture and design.
Dyslexics have sharper peripheral vision which helps in detecting “the odd man out”, faster and easily. Their great observation skills help them see a picture in day and paint the exact copy of it without seeing it again at night. Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are worlds creative actors who have endured the dyslexic journey themselves. Finding your passion and being determined to practice it comes naturally to the dyslexics, which thus makes them expert and pioneer in their particular field of expertise.
A new purpose, meaning and understanding is a gift birthed by Dyslexia. So, what’s usually considered as a learning disability is in true essence an opportunity of illuminating the hidden potential behind dyslexia. Dyslexics value the objects in the world around them in unique ways. Thinking outside the box is the trademark of dyslexics. This quality gives them an advantage in being outstanding in their sphere of activity whether it’s as business entrepreneurs, or artists, or scientists, or actors, or painters, or musicians, or whatever it might be. So, it’s time we stop considering them as patients or people with disability and treat them as bright individuals who need different techniques and tools in bringing their potential out than normally practiced. We need to stop dumbing their special skills and talents. They should be treated as genius having incredible vision and implementation. Building a creativity network will make them feel belonged and not outcasted because of society’s rigid mindset regarding learning and education.
Dyslexic people are believed to be unaware of their environment, but in reality, they are highly aware of their environment, they simply perceive it differently. Their insightful and intuitive skills make them multi-dimensional and thus help them create more authentically. Neurological in origin their disparate thinking leads to insightful discoveries and perspectives. So, what appeared to be scattered, unfocused or disorganized; something of a social misfit was in reality a beautiful puzzle of creativity, imagination and innovation.