Adult Dyslexia – The Best Kept Secret in the Workplace

PRESS RELEASE

Amesbury, MA, (October 1, 2008):

It is estimated that 10-15% of the population (or approximately 30 million Americans) struggle with Dyslexia. This includes adults. Some may find that number surprising – but the truth of the matter is that Dyslexic adults today are often undiagnosed and, therefore, unaware that their difficulties may be caused by Dyslexia.

As Karen LoGiudice, Founder/Facilitator of New England Dyslexia Solutions says,

“Every Dyslexic is different. Symptoms and struggles vary depending upon the person and the situation. Despite the increasing shift in perception for our younger generation that Dyslexia is a gifted thinking style, the stigma for adults that remains can lead to low self-esteem in adult Dyslexics…and wasted talent in the workplace.”

Many adult Dyslexics conceal their difficulties and are forced to compensate to get through tasks that do not suit their skill-set.
According to Kerri St. Jean, Senior Vice President, HR & Organizational Effectiveness at Comcast’s NorthCentral Division,

“Today’s workplace is filled with diverse and complex issues such as Dyslexia, workplace injuries, language barriers, family care and elder care needs, just to mention a few.

Employers and individual managers who are open to these unique circumstances and provide both a supportive work environment and actual support of the specific individuals needs, always win in the end with higher productivity, loyalty and morale. Employees will give their best and thrive when they know they can trust their manager to truly care about them as an individual and value them for their talents as well as their developmental areas.”

There are many adult Dyslexics who thrive in their fields of talent – rising above their challenges and succeeding well beyond the non-Dyslexic population. These adults include the likes of Jay Leno, Charles Schwab, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Branson, Henry Winkler, and Tommy Hilfiger (to name a few). All of these amazing individuals are Dyslexic and attribute much of their success to it. Their multi-dimensional picture-thinking style enables Dyslexics to be highly intuitive, out-of-the-box thinkers with excellent problem-solving skills and creative talents.

Employers who place their Dyslexic employees in positions where their strengths are utilized will most likely report that these are some of the highest producing employees on their payroll. If not employed in an area of strength, Dyslexics may well exhibit inconsistent work, struggle with spelling, writing skills, fear of public speaking, or may pass up promotions that would require more administrative work.

“It is important for all of us to find careers in industries, companies and organizational cultures that play to our strengths and value our natural talents. But for Dyslexics, the importance of finding this match early on is critical,” says Kristine Steinberg, CEO of Kismet Consulting, LLC, a Business Consulting and Executive Coaching firm.

Steinberg further states,

“Dyslexics need mentors and managers that can see through some of the surface weaknesses, such as written communication or need for validation/approval, and tap into the vast creativity, perspective, and ingenious that Dyslexics possess, but are sometimes not realized. Managers and Supervisors would be wise to learn more about Dyslexia-how to identify the symptoms and help employees develop the confidence to fully express the positive aspects of their thinking and learning differences.”

Many adult Dyslexics are undiagnosed or unaware of their Dyslexia. Some common characteristics for adult Dyslexics are:

  • Employed in job/position that will conceal difficulties, or not require dealing with problematic areas.
  • Hides difficulties from co-workers, friends and even family.
  • Difficulty with tests – passing standardized tests can be a barrier to career advancement.
  • Highly successful/over achiever, or considered “not working up to potential.” Either way, displays extreme work ethic.
  • Highly intuitive – known to have “street smarts.” Is often “dead on” in judging personalities of others. “Out of the box” thinkers – strong strategizing and problem-solving abilities.
  • Remembers struggling in school. May have Dyslexic children and experience guilt when seeing own child struggle. Insecurities arise while reading to own children or helping them with homework.
  • Misspeaks, misuses, or mispronounces words without realizing it.
  • May confuse past conversations or be accused of “not listening.”
  • Difficulty remembering names of people, but remembers faces. May have compensatory tricks to help with this.
  • Difficulty remembering verbal instructions or directions. Poor recall of conversations or sequence of events.
  • May lose track of time and is frequently late – or is highly aware of it and is very rarely late.
  • Avoids reading out loud. May dislike public speaking. Will commonly perceive that they “read better silently.”
  • Has adopted compensatory tricks to remember spelling and homonyms (their, there, they’re), or misuses homonyms and has poor spelling.
  • Reading fluency and comprehension fluctuates depending upon subject matter.
  • Frequently has to re-read sentences in order to comprehend. Fatigues or becomes bored quickly while reading.
  • Reliance on others (assistants, spouses, significant others) for written correspondence.
  • Uncertainty with words, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Reliance on spell-check and grammar-check. Words out of context look “wrong.”
  • Writes with all capital letters, or mixes capital letters within words.
  • Abbreviates words frequently. Spelling is inconsistent (may spell the same word differently within the same document).
  • Poor handwriting masks spelling mistakes.
  • Work space may be extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
For a more comprehensive list of adult characteristics &copy Karen LoGiudice 2008, visit http://www.ne-dyslexia.com/adultdyslexiacharacteristics.html.
New England Dyslexia Solutions, located at 110 Haverhill Road in Amesbury, is a proud provider of the Davis Dyslexia Correction® program. Based on the book, The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald D. Davis, this practical, creative-based program was created by an adult Dyslexic, researched and tested with adult Dyslexic volunteers, and is an excellent option for adults who would like to overcome their difficulties with the written word.

The Davis program is a discrete, intensive, one-week program that is facilitated one-on-one, using the natural perceptual gifts and talents that both accompany and give rise to Dyslexia. Unlike other programs that require weekly visits over the course of many years, the Davis program provides a unique option for the adult Dyslexic. After the intensive 30-hour Davis program, clients complete necessary follow-up work from the privacy of their own home, on their own schedule, and at no additional cost.

The Davis program is also very effective with other learning difficulties – including ADD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia. The Davis program is the most widely used Dyslexia correction program worldwide. Currently being provided in 38 nations, the program methods can be used in virtually any language.

New England Dyslexia Solutions will be holding a free Adult Dyslexia seminar at its convenient office location in Amesbury, MA on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 6:30 pm. Seating is limited – pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register, visit http://www.ne-dyslexia.com/calendar.html.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND DYSLEXIA SOLUTIONS

New England Dyslexia Solutions, the only licensed Davis® Facilitator on the North Shore, is now accepting clients. The first step is to set up an initial consultation to see if the program is a suitable solution. For more information, contact Karen LoGiudice at 978-337-7753, via email at mailto:info@ne-dyslexia.com, or visit the New England Dyslexia Solutions website at http://www.ne-dyslexia.com/.
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    2 Responses to Adult Dyslexia – The Best Kept Secret in the Workplace

    1. David says:

      Just how does the program for adults differ from the program for children, assuming the adult has achieved a working ability to read and do arithmatic?

    2. nedyslexia says:

      Hello David,

      The Davis program is designed to get the root of each individual’s personal road blocks, regardless of age. Many adults have developed coping techniques that enable them to achieve “working ability” to read – but those coping techniques may not be the most effective way to do things and are ultimately what keep them stuck.

      For example, many adult dyslexics will have tricks to remember things (like spelling there vs. their). This may seem to work, but every time they must write it, they’ll have go through a series of thought processes in order to know which one to use. It is not automatic.

      Or, they may employ extreme concentration while reading, which can lead to tension headaches and a general aversion to reading unless necessary.

      Each dyslexic is different and, despite being able to cope, each will have confusions with various symbols and words. Therefore, we must figure out which are the problem areas for that person.

      The goal of the Davis program (which is facilitated one-on-one) is to discover what is causing the continued difficulties and to resolve them using techniques that promote comprehension and the natural picture-thinking style of the client.

      To answer your question, the basic program is the same as that which is done with a dyslexic child – except it is personalized to suit the adult’s goals and areas of difficulty.

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