Why dyslexics have such creative minds 🧠

One main area of cognition which is measured during a dyslexia assessment is processing speed. When compared to their non dyslexic peers, dyslexics generally have slower processing speed.

This is measured by the child, or adult, reading a list of single digit numbers and a list of individual letters and timed on each task.

To understand the processing speed properly you need to grasp the following:

The brain organises information into files in the brain (officially termed schemas) to simplify the complex nature of the world around. Non-dyslexics tend to have an relatively coherent and clearly defined ‘mental filing system’ so their brains can ‘nip to the filing cabinet, go straight to the required file and extract the appropriate information’. This process quickly becomes automatic and thereby fast.

Each dyslexic brain, however, organises information in its own unique way and the filing system is not always as comprehensively laid out (speaking from my own personal experience!). Therefore the time taken to retrieve the file and the appropriate information takes longer.

Now because this process is less automatic, the dyslexic individual has a greater level of conscious access to the ‘filing system’ (memories and previously acquired knowledge, etc.) and therefore can make creative links between ideas earlier and quicker than their non-dyslexic friends. Hence why dyslexics are so creative.

The less you are bound by automatic and habit based responses to stimuli, the more scope you have for doing things differently!!

So when you hear “slow processing speed” – hear “unique, creative lateral thinker”!

Author: Zoë Brown

I am a dyslexia specialist, qualified in assessing dyslexia and literacy related difficulties as well as tutoring dyslexic children and those who need additional literacy support. Having been diagnosed as dyslexic at an early age, I have a personal understanding of both the challenges and advantages that dyslexia brings. I feel strongly that when given the right support and positive encouragement, dyslexic people of all ages can excel in confidence and academic attainment.

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