Is Dyslexia a Gift?

Is dyslexia a Brain Disorder, Disability, or Gift?

What Medical Professionals Say

Mayo Clinic – “an impairment in your brain’s ability to translate written images received from your eyes into meaningful language”(

The World Federation of Neurology – “a disorder manifested by difficulty in learning to read. . .” (1968; cited in Critchley 1970)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – “a brain-based type of learning disability.”

What I Thought as a Teacher

During my years teaching elementary school, I was often challenged with students that struggled to read or write. They didn’t strike me as below average intelligence students, but I was frustrated with my inability to help them.

Like many other professional educators, I used to view dyslexia as a “defect” in the way the brain processed information causing dyslexics to reverse, transpose, or view letters backwards. I had concluded that dyslexics were academically challenged and not capable of reading or learning like “normal” children.

However, after working with “learning disabilities” (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD), my views changed. These children were extremely bright. So, why did they have difficulty mastering reading, writing math, spelling, or staying focused? I needed an answer.

I realized that the normal educational system did not provide tools and techniques to help these children. The public educational system’s teaching styles were geared toward left-brain learners. Thus began my quest to gain the knowledge and training I wanted to be able to help these children. I specifically chose a program for my Masters degree that specialized in right-brain learning. Part of this program included fieldwork in the Davis® methods.

I quickly came to realize that visual learners had tremendous gifts. They were intelligent, curious, intuitive, creative, perceptive, multi-dimensional, and highly imaginative. These abilities – if “not suppressed, invalidated, or destroyed by parents or the education process – will result in two characteristics: higher than normal intelligence and extraordinary creative abilities.” *

 * Used by permission from The Gift of Dyslexia © 1997.

Truly A Gift

Curiosity, intuitiveness, creativity, perception, multi-dimensionality, and high imagination are the result of disorientation which allows these children to see their world in 3-D. This perceptual gift enables them to view an object from many angles, be creative or imaginative, and resolve confusion.

However, disorientation in math (dyscalculia), writing (dysgraphia), or focusing (ADHD) causes learning difficulties. In spelling or reading, it causes 2-dimensional symbols or letters to turn, twist, or appear 3-D, thus creating confusion and mistakes – the primary symptom of dyslexia. Watch the video at the link below for an excellent description of dyslexia and how the Davis approach can help to quickly overcome the problems of dyslexia.

Is it dyslexia? Take Davis’ free Dyslexia Screening Assessment On-Line Assessment.

Professional services described as Davis®, including Davis Dyslexia Correction®, Davis Symbol Mastery®, Davis Orientation Counseling®,  Davis® Attention Mastery,  Davis® Math Mastery, and Davis® Reading Program for Young Learners  may only be provided by persons who are trained and licensed as Davis Facilitators or Specialists by Davis Dyslexia Association International.