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Dyslexia and Dyspraxia: Calling All Spies!

by Sarah Forrest || 15 August 2017

Although they may struggle in early school years, students with dyslexia and dyspraxia are in high demand in an unusual field: espionage.

GCHQ, or Government Communications Headquarters as the British intelligence agency is called, has more than 100 “non-neurotypical” staff members who have been specially selected for their interesting brains!

Many dyslexics are good at visual-spatial tasks, including quickly being able to understand the “big gist” of a lot of data. So when it comes to analyzing information and pulling out the salient points to get a big picture of what’s going on, dyslexics come out on top.

One dyslexic employee who chairs the dyslexic and dyspraxic support group at GCHQ, describes his experience as the following:

“My reading might be slower than some individuals and maybe my spelling is appalling, and my handwriting definitely is … but if you look at the positive side, my 3D spacial-perception awareness and creativity is in the top 1% of my peer group.”

So, parents of struggling readers, just warning you now… you may have a future spy on your hands!

Sarah Forrest is an Easyread System Manager for David Morgan Education, and contributor at Helping Children to Read. After studying literature at Yale University, she worked at Easyread HQ in Oxford England for 4 years. She now lives in the sunny south of the United States with her two children, where she loves coaching parent and children through Trainertext visual phonics.