Dyslexic children are “hardwired” with “future skills” but most missed at school

One in five children are ‘hardwired’ with ‘dyslexic strengths’ vital for the jobs of the future, and teachers have the power to unleash their potential, according to the Connect the Spots report by global charity Made By Dyslexia.

The charity has already trained quarter of a million teachers to spot dyslexia with the support of high profile dyslexic backers such as Richard Branson, Keira Knightly and HRH Princess Beatrice. Today sets out a plan to train every teacher in the world in the next five years.

Made By Dyslexia has designed teacher training in partnership with Millfield School in the UK and The Schenck School in the USA, pioneers in the development of teaching methods for dyslexic children. The Connect the Spots campaign will now commit to reaching over 30 million teachers via free video training courses, which will completely transform global attitudes towards dyslexia and help to make schools, and dyslexic children, fit for the future.

Kate Griggs, founder and CEO of Made By Dyslexia, says: “In every classroom, in every school, around the world, there are one in five kids with exactly the thinking skills needed for the future of work. They are Made By Dyslexia. But their future skills fail to be recognised by a school system that’s shaped for the past. The vast majority of teachers around the world have little or no understanding of dyslexic strengths. Yet dyslexic children depend on them to unleash their natural strengths. We need every teacher to be able to spot, support and empower every dyslexic child.”

Made By Dyslexia’s research reveals 91 per cent of teachers have little or no idea about ‘dyslexic strengths’. The charity argues it is hugely empowering when teachers, children and parents understand dyslexic strengths, and helps create an environment where all children can thrive.

The Value of Dyslexia report, in partnership with global consultancy EY, shows that strengths common among dyslexic people, such as communication, visualisation and reasoning, are closely aligned with the ‘future skills’ promoted by the World Economic Forum as being essential to driving the future economy and providing fresh answers to the huge questions facing humanity such as climate change and the impact of global pandemics.

Kate Griggs continues: “In an era of automation, where facts can be Googled; spelling, punctuation and grammar can be corrected at the touch of a button; it is creativity, imagination and intuition that sets us apart from the machines. And these skills come naturally to dyslexics.”

In a blog post which describes dyslexia for many as a ‘superpower that can take you to great heights’, Richard Branson says: “As a dyslexic myself, I know that everyone living with dyslexia can also thrive with it. In fact, it has been such a positive force in my life. After dropping out of school at an early age, my dyslexia has helped me think creatively to solve problems and to keep things simple. That has been so important when building our Virgin businesses. And it’s also made a huge difference when leading and empowering people to be the best they can be.”

A decade ago, Kate Griggs led the British government to review support for dyslexia in school over. Yet progress stalled and in recent years, an increased emphasis on terminal exams over coursework, and an obsessive focus on spelling and grammar have put unnecessary pressure on dyslexic children.

Kate Griggs continues: “a decade after the seminal Rose review into support for dyslexic children, the government has failed to implement its recommendations. The world needs dyslexic thinking, and needs it now. We need to come together as a movement for change and make sure every school is enabled to spot these children, understand their potential and help them find their dyslexic strengths.”

Made By Dyslexia’s training is supported online by its long-term partner Microsoft. Parents and teachers can take the training today by visiting https://connect-the-spots.madebydyslexia.org/.

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