Dyslexic Cognition and Processing Speed [Premium]

Dyslexic Cognition and Processing Speed [Premium]

Processing speed can be a very frustrating aspect of dyslexia and dyspraxia. It doesn’t have its own DSM diagnosis code and in truth, processing speed in the context of dyslexia and or dyspraxia have very different sources. Some people think that it doesn’t matter what the source of the speed problems are, but I think it’s more important than people realize. Most people in the dyslexia field don’t have the experience of being a neurologist – but it’s a pity that more people haven’t had those experiences. If you have assessed people throughout the life cycle (kids through adults) and in the setting of disease (like brain injury) or learning difference (like dyslexia), there are dramatic differences that affect learning and communication. Common issues that […]

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Strengthening Executive Function Skills [Premium]

Strengthening Executive Function Skills [Premium]

“Reading isn’t the most challenging part of dyslexia. It’s the executive function…” Executive function consists of different sets of processes in the brain that act like executives in business. Executives supervise all the activities and resources – organizing and prioritizing activities, developing plans, and making sure actions are properly executed. CHALLENGES AMONG CHILDREN AND ADULTS Executive function challenges that are commonly reported among dyslexic children and adults include limitations in working memory, task monitoring, inhibitory control, set-shifting, and organization (read more here). What that pattern also often means is that learning and working efficiency is at its best when information and tasks can be processed in smaller bits, a system is developed for checking and double-checking work, non-distracting learning and work environments are essential, and […]

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Strength-based Thinking and Communication through Metaphor [Premium]

Strength-based Thinking and Communication through Metaphor [Premium]

“Since dyslexics are visual learners and thinkers, I make sure to integrate that into how I work throughout the day. I always approach architecture decisions via white-boarding. I use metaphors when I explain things to other people or when I try to reason about the problem space in my head…” – Josh Brunner, from Embracing Dyslexia as a Software Engineer   An interesting thing happened when researchers (sorry free abstract only) set out to study figurative language in dyslexic and non-dyslexic people. Dyslexia is often referred to as a “language learning disability” and in the usually deficit-focused literature, there have been plenty of studies that might have suggested figurative language could be problematic – but Kasirer and Mashal also were aware of the creativity literature […]

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Dyslexics Thinkers to Meet the Demands of the Future

Dyslexics Thinkers to Meet the Demands of the Future

CNBC had a welcome article about how important dyslexic employees are for increasing demands for creative thinking, design, and leadership. Their review was based on the Ernst and Young research paper The Value of Dyslexia. Excerpt: “dyslexic individuals have differing abilities, with strengths in creative, problem solving and communication skills and challenges with spelling, reading and memorizing facts. Generally, a dyslexic cognitive profile will be uneven when compared to a neurotypical cognitive profile. This means that dyslexic individuals really do think differently.

What does this mean in work? These varied cognitive profiles give dyslexic individuals natural abilities to form alternative views and solve problems creatively. Heightened cognitive abilities in certain areas, such as visualization and logical reasoning skills and natural entrepreneurial traits can […]

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Women in STEM: Kim Mann

Women in STEM: Kim Mann

Kim Mann is a software architect, and she might not have found her career path if a 9th grade geometry teacher hadn’t decided to allow Kim to solve problems her own way. Up until this point, Kim had always been penalized for using her own ways of solving a problem instead of the method that was taught. What this teacher did differently was tell Kim that if she could recognize the logical progression between steps, she could get full credit for her work. “Once I saw the entire path in my head, I would see the shortcut and how to get the answer in the three steps that we were taught in class,” she said. Kim went on to major in Math and developed a […]

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Surviving and Thriving Without College

Surviving and Thriving Without College

Just over 1/3 of the U.S. adult population has a 4-year college degree, but as tuition rates skyrocket, many dyslexic families with young people might reasonably ask – “Is it worth it?” or even “Do I even want it?”. Even if we know in theory that we want our children to pursue their passions, having our son or daughter choose not to go to college might trigger instinctual reactions that we may not have realized we had. The truth is that there are many careers that don’t require 4-year college degrees and LD students are more likely than others to drop out of a 4-year college. Just 34% of students are likely to complete a 4 year degree within 8 years – compared to 56% […]

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[PREMIUM] Multisensory Masters

Often when the term “multisensory” is used when talking about dyslexia, math manipulatives or Orton-GIllingham curricula are what come to mind. But multisensory is much more than its association with education. Multisensory abilities and talents account for many super powers that dyslexic people use in their every day success. Strong multisensory learners may learn well by immersion, real life experiences with social interaction, personal connections, movement, and hearing, seeing, touching (and yes also smells and sometimes tastes). Some multisensory experts show expertise in certain sensory modalities – like being visually aware or particularly sensitive or having an ear for music or different aspects a peoples voices. People Reading Skills in reading people’s emotional expressions, gestures, and nonverbal cues can lead to super skills in fields […]

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DYSLEXIA AND THE  NURSING PROFESSION

DYSLEXIA AND THE NURSING PROFESSION

‘‘Nurses with dyslexia [. . .] can use a multidimensional approach to patient care and can visualise a patient as an integrated whole. They can connect with a patient in way that integrates the art and science of nursing…(Dyslexic nurses) use ‘‘novel and creative problem solving measures that show an exceptional understanding of patients’ individual needs and the wider nursing issues involved in nursing care.’’ – Jacqueline Wiles, Nursing Standard In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Nursing has produced a toolkit of how to support students and employees with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia in the nursing profession although nothing similar is available here in the US. The nursing profession can be well-suited to many dyslexic strengths that include (but are not limited to) […]

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Dyslexia and Firefighting [PREMIUM]

Dyslexia and Firefighting [PREMIUM]

In some fire stations where members are outspoken about their dyslexia, an over-representation of dyslexia has been noted. Why is this? Firefighting is a intensely active profession where strengths of situational awareness, dynamic spatial problem solving, and teamwork all come together. Firefighting especially demands M-strengths (material reasoning), I-strengths (interconnected reasoning), and D-strengths (dynamic reasoning). In the United Kingdom, one Fire District conducted a Dyslexia Awareness program that included testing, workplace coaching, and assistive technology. They’ve identified over 70 individuals in their program so far. Dyslexic firefighters often don’t have much difficulty with the actual job of firefighting. Instead, they have trouble with timed test taking required for promotion or the paperwork and paper-based data analysis required for reporting. Here in the US, Frank Ricci is […]

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