Dyslexia and Adults in the Working Environment

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Dyslexia is a different way of thinking and doing. People with dyslexia can be successful if they work their tasks in their own way. They can learn if they have really understood the information they get and feel more in control if they have choices.

By Efi Glymi


They usually have difficulties in reading long documents- as they have eye problems (they cannot read clearly the letters), weak short-term and working memory, limited attention span, poor organization, poor processing of what they read and hear and low self-esteem.


Consequently, they face certain difficulties in a working environment like concentrating when there is noise, taking down notes in meetings, responding quickly to written documentation, reading hand-written notes and instructions,” planning meetings” and sequential processes, prioritizing work-load, organization and time management.


They can help themselves in different ways of taking notes like using mind maps, key words, and symbols abbreviations. If they take notes from books they can use colours to underline the key points, (sub) heading and summaries. They should always focus on the title and keep it in front of them. Also it is useful to check if they are “on task” and at the end read their writing aloud or use read-back software.
They learn best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.


In order to organize their work best they can plan and prepare it carefully, break their task into stages, take brakes and check it! It is important to spend 10 min per day to organize it.
It is also important to manage their time by checking the deadlines, estimate how long the task will take, schedule the time on their wall chart in order to have an everyday eye contact and STICK TO IT or reschedule. 
The use of technology (IT) is very helpful as it enables them to express themselves, correct spelling mistakes, check with a read back programme and headphones without disturbing anyone else, use mind maps software and electronic organizer. They can also record meetings or important conversations to listen to again later if they missed important information. If they are students they can ask extra time in exams and negotiate some time each day when they will not be disturbed.


On the other hand we should not forget that having dyslexic people in our working environment can be a gift as they are usually innovative, creative, have visualization and intuitive approach, ability to recognize patterns and links and good understanding of overall system. They can thrive in careers where visual-spatial and kinesthetic talents can be realized like being entrepreneurs, engineers, traders, actors, musicians, athletes or business executives. •

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