Dyslexia in the Workplace
You may have noticed that you have an employee who:
- shows potential but avoids taking the lead
- is very capable in some areas but struggles to write accurate and clear reports
- has difficulty reading information quickly
- has extremes of ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’.
- can get very nervous, especially if they feel they are being watched.
These employees could be dyslexic and would work more effectively if some ‘reasonable adjustments’ were made or they were provided with an individual support programme.
Dyslexic symptoms are commonly a difficulty with reading and writing but it often coexists with:
Dysgraphia – difficulty with handwriting, it may be very slow or illegible
Dyspraxia – difficulty with balance, co-ordination and/or movement
Dyscalculia – difficulty with numbers or processing mathematics
AD(H)D – difficulty with time management, poor understanding of sequence and consequence, distractibility
These difficulties can result in a loss of self esteem and reduce a person’s willingness to put themselves into new situations. However, the dyslexic thinking style is fast, multi-dimensional and has a strong ability to produce alternative solutions. There is an increasing awareness that it can be a benefit in the workplace.
The link between dyslexia and entrepreneurial success
Much has been written about the link between dyslexia and entrepreneurial success and the potential power of the dyslexic thought.
What are the characteristics of the dyslexic thinking style that can result in this success?
- creative and strongly imaginative.
- naturally more curious than most.
- an ability to look at situations differently to others.
- A natural ability to find unusual connections
When this is combined with drive, persistence and determination, it can be a powerful mix.
In order for dyslexic thinkers to overcome their difficulties, they need to understand their unconventional thinking style and they may need to adapt their reading, writing and learning skills.
Learning these new skills can be achieved thorough structured, individually tailored training. Compared with the costs of replacing and redeveloping staff, the investment in such a programme is very small, and the potential benefits can be significant.
Once they have mastered an alternative approach to reading, sorting and sequencing thoughts or developing writing techniques, these skills can be woven into their daily life and will result in a noticeable reduction in stress and increase in self-confidence and output.
Sara Kramer has worked for a multi-national company in the UK, Holland, Paris and Singapore. She has a clear understanding of the business environment as well as a Masters degree in Adult Dyslexia Diagnosis and Support.
Contact her for
- information on how to identify dyslexia
- advice on tackling the difficulties encountered by adults with dyslexia
- dyslexia screening (based on BDA Workplace Assessor’s Programme)
- individualised training programmes to overcome problems stemming from dyslexia with practical strategies