This week, a cousin of mine, David Rifkind, died at the early age of 51. He was a very successful real estate promoter in Los Angeles. During our last conversation in the summer at his house, we discussed dyslexia and its effects on our lives. It turns out that we also had that "disability" in common. His comments expressed my feelings exactly and hopefully can serve as an inspiration to those who have it and those who work with them.
He enthusiastically stated that dyslexia was the key to his success. Specifically, he noted that his ability to think differently allowed him to find solutions that "normal" people could not imagine. Instead of handicapping him, it gave him a leg up. If a task needed more analytical and less intuitional skills, he hired the appropriate person. So, dyslexia is not a curse but a blessing in many situations.
Naturally, depending on the type of dyslexia, other tasks can become difficult or even almost impossible. Dyslexics require great concentration to execute specific routine tasks. On the other hand, everybody finds certain simple jobs quite complicated. Most dyslexics find a way, granted unconventional, to attain reasonable success in these deficiencies. These strategies include proper scheduling, extra time, and no multitasking, to name just a few. Ultimately, dyslexics can achieve their goals no less successfully than others, sometimes on their own and sometimes with the help of others. The road is not always smooth or conventional but does lead to Rome.
Depending on the level and type of dyslexia, working with dyslexics may involve showing some flexibility and understanding. The price is well worth it. In a rapidly changing world, every company needs people that grasp the situation quickly and think outside the box.
So, to all those feeling frustrated by dyslexia or using it as an excuse for failure, I suggest that you embrace it and appreciate your unique approach to the world. Accentuate the positive, overcome the negative and find the niche in which your special talents will shine.
In memory of David Rifkind