Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dyslexia - The Different Brain, The Creative Brain

I've been reading a lot of articles about dyslexia lately. For no particular reason, as, to my knowledge, there is no dyslexia in my family. Well, ok, when I was just learning to write, I confused the small “d” and the small “b” (it’s a stick with a circle, but which way does the circle point?), as well as ”u” and “y” (it’s the same letter, but one of them has a tail, now which one?). But I think that particular muddle was due to the fact that I’m not a (picture) visual person, not due to dyslexia.

Simply put, dyslexia is a hereditary neurological disorder that makes it extremely difficult for the person to read, write and spell in their native language. It may also impede remembering names, placing events into the correct sequence, reading comprehension and the ability to follow a story line. But that’s only a tiny insight into what dyslexia is all about.

Imogen Stubbs, in her brilliant article about her dyslexic son, writes: “when asked what you got when you added two plus two, he replied: "April?"”. Now, before you laugh his reply off as nonsense, let me tell you that "April" is a perfectly valid and correct answer. April is the 4th month of the year, and the little boy wanted to say that two plus two equals "4"... and yet, the word that came to his mind was the one that described another aspect of the number 4, namely the month that is 4th on the list! That’s thinking outside the box for you. That’s creative and non-linear.
Research shows that people with dyslexia actually are brain-different, i.e., they have a significantly larger right-hemisphere. So it’s not surprising that they often excel in areas controlled by the right-side of the brain (art, music, mechanical manipulation, 3-D visualisation, creative problem solving skills, people skills).
This has been partially recognised in the book “Thinking Like Einstein” by Thomas G. West, who argues that visual-spatial abilities and difficulties with language often go hand in hand. According to him, "the kids who were at the bottom of the class in the old system based on words and numbers are already at the top of the class in the new system based on information-rich computer images. But almost no one knows this - least of all the educational professionals who are stuck in the old ways of thinking."

So, are dyslexic children the new gifted learners? We’d love to find out. If your child is dyslexic, please send us his or her Learning Style Analysis (LSA) report. To complete one, click on www.creativelearningcentre.com and the address to send it to is yvonne@clc.co.nz. We look forward to hearing from you!

1 comment:

Dragonizer said...

this is a good friendship approach from me.. since we both have same interest about education and gifted children.