Read full article on Guardian newspaper website here

‘Dyslexia causes reading and spelling challenges, but positivity about the condition is a growing part of the campaign to improve awareness and coping strategies. The British Dyslexia Association is exploring the theme during the annual Dyslexia Awareness Week next month, with events in schools and the hashtag #positivedyslexia2017.

“I have five severely dyslexic children,” says the association’s policy manager Sue Flohr, who is herself dyslexic. “They’re now a doctor, a teacher, a photographer, a designer and a nightclub manager. Dyslexia doesn’t prohibit anything, and being positive about it encourages children to find their strengths while working around weaknesses.”

The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People, published later this month, is written by two dyslexic mothers of dyslexic children. After a foreword by the dyslexic architect Richard Rogers, it offers practical solutions to particular challenges while also celebrating dyslexia’s advantages. “School can still be demoralising, but when you hear about people doing superbly well in all kinds of careers, it really helps,” says co-author Kate Power.

Research into possible differences in the wiring of the brain is ongoing, but tests routinely show that dyslexics are better at spatial reasoning and “seeing the bigger picture”. “I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if I wasn’t dyslexic,” says Jim Rokos, a product designer and the curator of Dyslexic Design, an exhibition that was mounted in London last year. “I can play with shapes and do experiments in my head in a way that other designers might not be able to.”