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My Superpower Might Surprise You

Yep, it’s true, I’m dyslexic. And it's my superpower. I finally got myself tested and diagnosed in graduate school. I knew I was smart, yet I couldn’t spell, write an essay, learn a foreign language, read well or remember phone numbers for the life of me. So, if I have such deficits, then how can dyslexia be a superpower? It is a superpower because I had to learn coping skills to compensate for my deficiencies. As a child, I couldn’t read a face clock, but I knew what time it was by turning on the TV and seeing what show was on. I had memorized the TV schedule to help me navigate time. I always have an editor read my essays before publishing them. Now I also have Grammarly to also assist. My reading improves out of sheer determination. I actually like to read now. However, I will rarely read out loud. My dyslexia causes my brain to not be able to connect the letters and phonetic syllables together if it is a new word to me. So, I end up saying very silly things.

I do believe my dyslexia is a huge part of my becoming a therapist. Talking to people was always the best way for me to show my intellect. I was always good at engaging others in conversation. Many teachers would rely on me to lead the discussion in the classrooms as I was able to get many of my peers engaged in the topic.

Researchers have found that people with dyslexia have a number of cognitive strengths. Researchers, Helen Taylor and Martin David Vestergaard (Frontiers in Psychology article) have found that people with dyslexia have many assets.

  1. They are able to see the bigger picture easily, rather than getting lost in the details. This makes for a good problem solver. This can also be a good asset for a therapist.

  2. They are creative. People with dyslexia excel at divergent thinking, and the ability to come up with multiple solutions to any given problem. May entrepreneurs are thought to have dyslexia because they have this superpower.

  3. They have an aptitude for art and engineering. People with dyslexia are overrepresented in the field of art, architecture, and engineering due to being able to see the broader view of things.

People with dyslexia think and solve problems in a creative way. They are able to see the whole picture while also thinking outside of the box to find answers. This type of thinking needs to be celebrated, not discouraged because they did not choose the right bubble to fill in on the test. Once I identified my deficiencies I was able to then see all the creative ways I learned to cope over the years. Identifying all of the unique coping skills that I developed made me realize that I actually had superpowers that helped me excel in my career. I was an amazing problem solver as I had to be to progress in my life. If you anyone you know needs support in finding their superpowers, please reach out.


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