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Dyslexia: A Different Way of Thinking

Dyslexia was traditionally viewed as a brain abnormality affecting reading abilities. However, research has significantly challenged this perception. Dyslexia is now understood in the context of genetic factors, cognitive variations, and the influence of parental heritage.


When one parent has dyslexia, there’s approximately a 33% chance that their child will also have dyslexia.

If both parents have dyslexia, the likelihood increases to around 66%.

Interestingly, even if neither parent has dyslexia, but a grandparent does, it can still be passed down through the family line.


Many parents recognize the same struggles they experienced during their own school years in their children. Sometimes, parents who were not tested for dyslexia themselves later discover that their child faces similar challenges. Testing and diagnosis play a crucial role in understanding and supporting individuals with dyslexia. Not only for the child but also for the parent.


The Brain Circuitry: Using brain scans, researchers at Yale University have discovered that dyslexic individuals engage in different specific brain connections when performing various tasks. This alternative brain functioning can either overactivate or underactivate certain brain regions compared to the general population. This can have both positive and negative effects on the tasks performed.


Absolutely, dyslexia is real and not a figment of imagination, as described above by Yale University. With MRI brain scans, we can visually observe the effects directly. It's also not something you can outgrow. However, you can improve with practice, much like with sports - the more you do it, the better you get. Often, you discover a certain approach that works best for you.


People with dyslexia may be born with it due to genetic factors. Interestingly, brain injuries (like strokes or surgery near the left ear) can also lead to dyslexic symptoms. However, those with genetic dyslexia benefit from compensatory mechanisms that others don’t have.


Neurodiversity is a beautiful concept that celebrates the uniqueness of our brains. Just like a diverse ecosystem benefits from different species, our collective human experience thrives because of the varied ways our brains process information.

Here’s the essence of neurodiversity:

Brain Variability: Every brain is wired differently. Our neural pathways light up in distinct patterns, shaping our abilities and challenges. It’s like a symphony of individual instruments playing together.

Strengths and Struggles: Just as some people excel at basketball while others thrive in art or music, our brains have specialized talents. Embrace your strengths—whether it’s visual thinking, problem-solving, or creativity.

Text Isn’t Everything: If text feels like a puzzle sometimes, remember that you excel in other dimensions. Visualizing concepts, understanding 3D structures, and connecting ideas—these are your superpowers!

Neurodiversity Benefits All: Our collective strengths—whether linguistic, mathematical, artistic, or spatial—contribute to humanity’s progress. We need each other’s unique perspectives to thrive.

Celebrate your brain’s quirks. You’re part of a magnificent mosaic—a testament to the richness of human experience!


Learn More: If you’re curious, check out the original research from Yale by Sally Shaywitz, MD and Bennett Shaywitz, MD: Brain Scans Reveal Disruption in the Neural Circuitry.

Yale University research by Sally Shaywitz, MD and Bennett Shaywitz, MD

Yale University MRI research Dyslexia

Neurodiversity Helen Taylor