Virgin mogul Richard Branson has penned an article defending dyslexic youth, in which he argues that dyslexia should be perceived as a sign of potential rather than a disadvantage.
Branson believes that there needs to be a change in the way society views dyslexia if there is to be any hope eradicating the stigma that surrounds the reading disorder. In his piece for the Sunday Times, Branson recalls that at his school, dyslexia was “treated as a handicap: my teachers thought I was lazy and dumb, and I couldn’t keep up or fit in.”
Branson denounced the traditional school exam system, as he believes it puts dyslexic children at a disadvantage while also giving a false impression of what is to be expected in the real world. ‘This isn’t how we’re expected to perform in the real world and it’s a crazy way of measuring children as successes or failures. These tests don’t measure the skills of reasoning and exploration we need for the world today, the same skills that have helped me build Virgin,” wrote Branson.
Branson accredited his creative success to dyslexia by adding that, “out in the real world, my dyslexia became my massive advantage… It helped me to think creatively and laterally, and see solutions where others saw problems.”
The ardent advocate for dyslexia will be supporting the launch of a new charity, Made by Dyslexia. Based in the UK, Made by Dyslexia will be devoted to helping the world better understand and support dyslexia.
This piece is based on an article by Ashitha Nagesh for Metro.co.uk which can be seen here.
Megan Baksh received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Nova Southeastern University in May of 2016, and is currently pursuing an education in the field of psychology.