As we grow older we discover and understand more about ourselves. Experiences give us little pieces of code that make up who we are. This information may require a new way of thinking for us and for those we interact with. When diagnosed 15 years ago with dyslexia I was both shocked and relieved!
I transpose numbers, struggle to see words and hear the sounds, as well as struggling to read out loud. So you can imagine spelling and maths were painfully hard at school. This piece of my code was missing.
So I began searching for information, firstly to develop new strategies to help me cope. Meeting some amazing people who saw my ‘Learning Disability’ as more of a ‘Gift’! Secondly they taught me to embrace the difference in how I interpret things. Then finally to write my own code.
A new way of thinking
Now GCHQ have embraced a new way of thinking. They deliberately employ those with dyslexia and dyspraxia, having over 120 members of staff that are “neurodiverse”.
An IT specialist at GCHQ told the Sunday Times reporter Richard Kerbaj, “what people don’t realise is that people with neurodiversity usually have a ‘spiky skills’ profile, which means that certain skill areas will be below par and others may be well above.”
He went on to say about himself, “My reading might be slower than some individuals and maybe my spelling is appalling, and my handwriting definitely is…but if you look on the positive side, my 3D spacial-perception awareness and creativity is in the top 1% of my peer group.”
In good company
Similarly one of the greatest code breakers, Alan Turing, was dyslexic. He used his gift of ‘spiky skills’ in maths and cryptology to break the Enigma code. He was part of a team at Bletchley park during the second World War working tirelessly against the Nazi onslaught.
There is a Trust dedicated to continuing Alan Turing’s legacy here
I see my dyslexia as a gift, my own special code and the fact that I am neurodiverse and in such good company is great too!
A link to Dsylexia Action