Different Versus Disorder

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A new study shows that dyslexia has been misunderstood and that it shouldn’t be considered a developmental disorder, BBC’s Science Focus reported.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, in Britain reviewed past research in psychology and neuroscience about the condition, which has been labeled a developmental disorder.

They observed that instead of a disorder, there were fundamental differences in how dyslexic and non-dyslexic brains were wired.

Specifically, how the brain organizes its neurons and pathways varies depending on whether the mind is better at global “big picture” thinking or local ‘detail-oriented’ thinking.

In the case of dyslexic people, their brains have more long-range connections and fewer local ones.

The team explained that people with dyslexia are adept at exploring the unknown and seeing the bigger picture. Still, they added that dyslexic individuals are less efficient at procedural learning, such as reading, writing or playing the piano. This became problematic for the dyslexic mind as humanity moved towards writing, reading and exploiting information.

Researchers posited that before writing became ingrained in our species both dyslexic and non-dyslexic people collaborated with each other to help humanity thrive.

The evolution of this brain wiring proved advantageous for humans as they adapted to their changing environment.

The authors suggested that if dyslexia is reframed as a difference, society as a collective can benefit from its innovative solutions.

“It is important to emphasize people with dyslexia do still face a lot of difficulties but the difficulties exist because of the environment and an emphasis on rote learning and reading and writing,” said co-author Helen Taylor “[Instead, we could] nurture ‘explorative learning’ – learning through discovery, invention, creativity, etc. which would work more to their strengths.”

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