Dyslexia and a PhD

Die-hard sceptics still regarding it as little more than a convenient excuse for a lack of interest in or dedication to study may be surprised by this video, which reflects impressive academic achievement in a discipline which simultaneously challenges, derives value from and provides support for the cognitive distinctiveness that dyslexia represents

I found it amusing that the problem she felt that her dyslexic mind posed to others was that it made it difficult for them to keep up with her speed of thought. We non-dyslexics seem to be held back by our primitive need to go from a to b.

This is award winning researcher, designer, educator, writer and film maker Emma Jefferies.

Here are the issues that Emma encountered with writing whilst (among other things) working on her PhD.

The issues associated with reading are quite different

Here are some tutor, supervisor and peer perspectives on Emma’s PhD

Here’s Emma in action, reviewing a book on User Experience (UX)

Here’s a relevant innovation that hit the news headlines recently

Here’s an extract from a definition of dyslexia from Wikipedia:

Dyslexia is a broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a person’s fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read, and spell, and which can manifest itself as a difficulty with phonological awareness, phonological decoding, orthographic coding, auditory short-term memory, and/or rapid naming.

Each word a challenge, each sentence a heavy load

The time taken to trek this journey showed,

Meaning was lost with no recollection of the seed sowed

Some who followed thought it was Morse code.

Now I write to see and synthesize the overflow

To capture thoughts before they reload or, at worst, erode.

I write using non-linear code.

Extract from a poem called I write by Emma Jeffries

 

Dyslexia is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction. It is believed that dyslexia can affect between 5 to 10 percent of a given population although there have been no studies to indicate an accurate percentage.

There are three proposed cognitive subtypes of dyslexia: auditory, visual and attentional. Reading disabilities, or dyslexia, is the most common learning disability, although in research literature it’s considered to be a receptive language-based learning disability.

Accomplished adult dyslexics may be able to read with good comprehension, but they tend to read more slowly than non-dyslexics and may perform more poorly at nonsense word reading (a measure of phonological awareness) and spelling.

Dyslexia is not an intellectual disability, since dyslexia and IQ are not interrelated as a result of cognition developing independently.