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It's time we changed our way of thinking with dyslexia.

Friday, February 22, 2019

It's time we changed our way of thinking with dyslexia.

It's thought that as many as one in 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia (NHS). Therefore, it’s safe to say that you’re pretty much guaranteed to have at least one student in your class that has dyslexia or another form of neurodivergence.

Neurodivergence covers the likes of dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD – personalities you have most certainly encountered in your career.

Students with profiles such as these tend to struggle more at school when it comes to exams and getting their heads around particular subjects. It's tough because the real world doesn’t revolve around exams, but it does take past results into consideration.

The good thing is, there is more being done at the moment to show that having dyslexia or a neurodiversity isn’t a disadvantage, it’s simply a different way of thinking. If anything, it can work as a bonus in the workplace. Those on the autistic spectrum typically have fantastic concentration and a gift for detail, dyslexics often have strong mechanical minds and entrepreneurial tendencies, and those with ADHD can be creative, inventive and energetic. 

One of the people working to shine a positive light on this area is Sir Richard Branson - did you know he’s dyslexic? Just look at all that he has gone onto achieve!

In an article with The Times, he said…

“Out in the real world, my dyslexia became my massive advantage: it helped me to think creatively and laterally, and see solutions where others saw problems.”

Branson is a supporter of the new charity, Made by Dyslexia, which was set up by successful (and famous) dyslexics. Its purpose is to help the world understand and support dyslexia so that every dyslexic child is identified and gets the right support, enabling them to understand their full potential.

“To change perceptions, we must celebrate all that dyslexic people have achieved, so that young people no longer give up before they have even started” – Sir Richard Branson

We’re going to try and touch on that here.

There are so many successful and well-known people who have dyslexia, and you would never know. So, if you have a student in your class who is feeling disheartened, you can tell them that the world is their oyster and they can go on to do just as much as their peers!

Just take a look at these success stories…

Physicist, Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein










Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg






​Actress, Keira Knightly

Keira Knightly









Boxing legend, Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali








Walt Disney (need we explain?)

Walt Disney








Presenter and model, Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby








Chef, Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver








Prime Minister, Winston Churchill








Do you have any advice for new teachers working with dyslexic or neurodivergent students? Share our blog and add your top tips!

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