Embracing Dyslexia: Navigating Communication Challenges and Harnessing Superpowers

Dyslexia can affect roughly 14.5 million to 43.5 million Americans and 392 million to 785 million global citizens. This means that text messages, road signs, captions, emails, and other forms of the written words can be mixed up and misinterpreted.

As a business owner who is in constant communication with clients, business partners, and peers, it can be pretty embarrassing when a glaring error occurs when, to my eyes, everything looks normal until after it’s pointed out. There are shortcuts to maneuver around it, but there is no denying that my brain will process words incorrectly.

Along with mixing up words that are being read, retaining the information can go along with it, so you’ll experience re-reading the same passage multiple times, but it’s like making a stone soak up water while everyone else operates like a sponge.

If you share these experiences or know someone who does, then here are some shortcuts and tips that might be helpful:

  1. Use Dyslexia-Friendly Fonts: Certain fonts, such as Arial, Comic Sans, Dyslexie, and OpenDyslexic, make it easier for dyslexic individuals to read. Adjusting font size and spacing can also improve readability.
  2. Provide Audio Versions: Offering audio versions of texts can help dyslexic individuals comprehend and retain information better. If you’re comfortable using Word Doc, under Review, you can use Read Aloud, which will read what is written and highlight the word being spoken so you can follow along.
  3. Highlight Key Points: Taking notes is essential for meetings, but using multi-colored highlighters and pens can break up the big blocks of text and help draw attention to essential information.
  4. Utilize Visual Aids: Consider using visual aids such as diagrams, charts, and images to complement text. Visual representations can enhance understanding and memory retention.
  5. Chunk Information: Break down text into smaller, manageable chunks. Presenting information in shorter paragraphs or bullet points can make it less overwhelming and easier to digest.
  6. Encourage Multisensory Learning: Incorporate hands-on activities, discussions, or interactive experiences to engage multiple senses while learning. This approach can enhance comprehension and retention.
  7. Practice Active Reading Strategies: Encourage active reading techniques such as asking questions, making connections, and summarizing information in their own words. Engaging with the material actively promotes better understanding and retention.
  8. Provide Extra Time: Allow dyslexic individuals additional time to process and absorb information. Rushing through reading tasks can increase anxiety and cause errors to be overlooked.
  9. Encourage Re-reading and Review: Suggest revisiting texts multiple times for better retention. Repetition can reinforce learning and help dyslexic individuals internalize the material. If the information is not being retained, consider going for a brief walk or a small break to clear your mind and then return to the text.
  10. Offer Supportive Environment: Create a supportive and understanding learning environment where dyslexic individuals feel comfortable asking for help and accommodations as needed.

There is no silver bullet to finding the easiest method to overcoming dyslexia. Still, with a supportive environment, time to experiment, and an understanding of your limitations, there is no reason you should feel any less of a contributing member of your team.

To look at things on a lighter note, dyslexia can also be seen as a superpower. It leads to unique problem-solving so everyone can understand. Some fantastic visual graphics have been created to get the point across, you’re level of adaptability increases so you can be prepared for any situation, and you will have a broader empathy and compassion, which stems from your own experiences of overcoming challenges and adversity.

By reframing dyslexia as a set of strengths and abilities rather than solely focusing on its challenges, society can better appreciate the unique contributions and potential of dyslexic individuals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top