How to Love Someone with Dyslexia
Love is different for everyone, and yet it is something we all desire. Each person is different and unique in their own way. Sometimes it is easy to love someone, and other times it can be challenging. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the fact that all of us have our own strengths and weaknesses as individuals. But the question so many people have is, how do you love someone with dyslexia? Many myths about dyslexia have led people to misunderstand how to treat someone they love with dyslexia. In this article, we will share how to love someone with dyslexia and how you can encourage them to become the best version of themselves.
1. Readjust your mindset about dyslexia.
Due to the biases many education facilities have given students, a majority of parents become upset when they learn that their child has dyslexia. The current culture of the education system causes children with dyslexia to feel “stupid” in comparison to their peers when they struggle to read or learn like the rest of the other children. However, parents, educators, and school staff should acknowledge that the dyslexic brain is unique, and to quote Orlando Bloom, “If you’re dyslexic, it’s kind of your superpower.” Dyslexia is not a disability, but merely a difference in how someone processes written information. Many children develop clever ways to overcome the obstacles that they face, that could benefit other children in the classroom!
2. Remind them that dyslexia is not a disability of intellect
On average, a person is diagnosed with dyslexia at about 6 or 7 years old. This means that people with dyslexia go through the critical years of development unintentionally being labeled as “dumb” by their peers, teachers, or parents. This treatment of people with dyslexia is the reason why approximately 35% of all high school dropouts have dyslexia (www.childmind.org). To mitigate this, it is important to teach students to realize that they are capable of learning and how to believe in themselves. For example, Scott Bezyli, the executive director of the Winston Preparatory school, says that “a lot of our work with dyslexic students is to help them rediscover that they are smart and capable because they’ve stopped believing in themselves.” (www.childmind.org).
3. Have patience and be open-minded.
Because dyslexia is a language processing disorder, it can affect a person’s ability to understand and express themselves. With text conversation, a person with dyslexia may take longer to respond because they are trying to communicate what they want to say through written words. This does not mean that people with dyslexia are bad conversationalists or do not have much to say, it is actually quite the opposite! Sometimes, people without dyslexia may become impatient with someone who has dyslexia when they are engaging socially. It is important to be patient and understand how dyslexia impacts someone that you know or love. Be open minded to alternative ways of communicating, such as calling instead of texting.
4. Encourage them to embrace and share their creativity!
Dyslexic people are known to be more creative than most. This is because they often have to overcome educational obstacles on their own at an early age before assessment and intervention are made available. In fact, some of your students with dyslexia may be able to teach their peers a thing or two about studying, reading, and engaging with information! You’ll be amazed at the creative strategies many of these students have. People who creatively problem solve, like famous inventors (Steve Jobs, Einstein, Henry Ford), artists (Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock), actors (Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Radcliffe), and movie directors (Steven Spielberg) have dyslexia.
One day, you will meet and maybe love or befriend someone with dyslexia. Just because their brain works differently doesn’t mean they will not be someone who will make you laugh, smile, and bring you joy in life. For people with dyslexia, it is not something to be afraid or ashamed of, but rather something to be embraced. To love or know someone with dyslexia is a gift that can be received with open-mindedness, patience, and effective listening and communication