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The Modern Superpower of Dyslexic Thinking


Fri Jun 14 2024

The Modern Superpower of Dyslexic Thinking

From the lightbulb casting its glow over our nights to the revolutionary iPhone transforming our daily lives, these groundbreaking innovations sprang from the imaginative minds of dyslexic thinkers. Their unique skills are not just important; they are indispensable in sculpting the future.

As a parent of a dyslexic child, I am intimately familiar with the struggles faced within our neurotypical-designed schools, workplaces, and community systems. Where an ordinary homework assignment or summer job application might take one hour for a non-dyslexic student, we could sit for two, three, or more hours grappling through the same mundane task. Over time, this repeated experience affected self-worth, identity, and confidence as a learner. It’s easy to feel worthless when everyone around you is scoring better on tests, or when struggles persist without improvement.


Now thriving as a young adult, my son has learned how to channel his neurodiverse mind into something much greater, yielding a power we admittedly had not yet discovered nor fully appreciated in his youth. It’s his story that I hold up with immense pride despite how dyslexia presented a great struggle in the early development years. Its newfound maturity affords a different way of seeing the world, processing information, and generating groundbreaking ideas. If you are in education, shaping young minds, talent acquisition, or people management, it’s time to take notice. Schools and employers are now awakening to its strengths, actively recruiting dyslexic minds.

Dyslexia affects up to one in five individuals and stems from genetic differences in learning and information processing. The dyslexic mind operates differently from the majority of the population, which can present challenges in a world designed for neurotypical individuals. Consequently, dyslexic individuals possess diverse abilities, excelling in creativity, problem solving, and communication, while facing challenges with spelling, reading, and memorization. Typically, dyslexic cognitive profiles exhibit variations compared to neurotypical profiles, highlighting the distinctive thinking patterns of dyslexic individuals.

Scientists correlate dyslexia to human evolution over hundreds of thousands of years. During this period, humans—and our brains—evolved to navigate continuous change, not a static environment. Dyslexia thinking is a valuable asset that can bring diverse perspectives and innovative solutions to any team, yet three out of four dyslexics still hide their dyslexia in the workplace.

It's time to change the narrative and embrace dyslexia as the superpower that it is.

As modern educators, human resources, and equity, diversity, and inclusion professionals, it’s imperative to make learning and career development opportunities more accessible for dyslexic individuals.


World Economic Forum research shows that dyslexic thinking has the exact skills organizations need to thrive in today’s complex and rapidly changing world. There is more work to be done, but we are advancing! In 2022, Dyslexic Thinking was added as a skill on LinkedIn and as a noun in the dictionary. And organizations like Made By Dyslexia work to help others understand the value of dyslexic thinking. It’s good for people, it’s good for business, and it’s good for the world.

First, we must reframe! Dyslexia is not a disability; it’s a unique way of thinking that can lead to incredible opportunities, solutions, and advancements. Dyslexic individuals often excel in areas such as product development, visualization, imagining, and problem solving, amongst other gifts, bringing in-demand skills to any team.

Dyslexics break the mold; each mind is wonderfully unique. We all have our own methods of processing information, leading to a spectrum of strengths and challenges. Just as with neurotypical minds, these patterns vary widely among dyslexic individuals. Recognizing and nurturing the diverse talents of dyslexic thinkers is essential, highlighting their strengths and offering support where necessary. Inclusive of these variances:

  • Eighty-four percent of dyslexics are above average at reasoning. A huge advantage is that they make connections across data and spotting patterns that others cannot see. These sudden leaps of insight help to generate novel ideas and solve problems in an unconventional way. Big-picture thinking possesses a brilliance of its own, offering us a panoramic view akin to soaring above in a helicopter.

  • Seventy-one percent of dyslexics are above average at communicating. They take complex ideas and simplicity and bring storytelling to life.

  • Interacting with space, senses, and new concepts, 75 percent of dyslexics are above average at visualizing. They can see through the noise and get to the facts.

  • Dyslexics frequently demonstrate exceptional abilities in connection—comprehending themselves, forging connections, and influencing others. These skills render them outstanding leaders with a finely attuned lens to understand themselves and others, often reading the room to understand what is not being said.\\

  • They are exceptional at problem solving—that is, seeing problems from all angles and coming up with creative ways to solve them. These individuals invigorate the workplace, sparking inspiration and encouraging others to think creatively.

Virgin Records founder Richard Branson’s imagination has literally taken us into space. He attributes his success to his dyslexic thinking, which has steered Virgin towards greatness. Branson emphasizes that imagination is pivotal in dreaming big while maintaining simplicity in communication.

Similar-minded employers like Microsoft and HSBC actively pursue dyslexic talent, recognizing the value that dyslexic thinking brings to their teams. It’s time for all organizations to follow suit and embrace dyslexic thinking as a prized asset.


To spark creativity and innovation in the workplace, we need to:

  • Shift outdated stigmas. Reframe dyslexia as a positive attribute rather than a disadvantage.

  • Create inclusive learning and development strategies that acknowledge and value dyslexic thinking skills.

  • Support dyslexic individuals through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and communities of belonging.

  • Recognize and accommodate challenges such as spelling without labeling them as measures of intelligence. Spelling does not measure intelligence! It measures spelling.

  • Review and adjust recruitment methods to ensure fairness and inclusivity for dyslexic candidates.

Legitimizing dyslexic thinking in the workplace is not only beneficial for individuals but also essential for businesses to innovate and thrive. The most successful teams are those who empower everyone to work toward their strengths. By embracing dyslexic thinking as a valuable skill and providing the necessary support and accommodations, we can create inclusive organizations where everyone can flourish and contribute their unique perspectives and talents. Together, we have the power to unleash the full potential of dyslexic thinking and ignite a wave of positive transformation that reverberates far beyond the workplace. How cool is that?

Stay curious friends!

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