Dyslexic – Coping Strategies

We all use coping strategies whether we are dyslexic or not. Typical non-dyslexic coping strategies may be a shopping list to help us remember the detail, or a project plan to manage the entirety of a complex event.

Dyslexics are no different they also develop their own coping strategies that work for them.

Specific coping strategies are difficult to define, they are usually internalised processes that are personal and evolved organically to cater for problems encountered in the non-dyslexic world – they are almost a method to translate from the dyslexic world to the non-dyslexic world. The very nature of them often becomes subconscious or intuitive over time, and they often become forgotten or normalised even by the subject themselves.

Because Dyslexia can be so different from person to person these strategies may only suit the one individual, and often they are not interchangeable; they will have developed over time to allow that dyslexic cope in a non-dyslexic world.

Strategies can be simple – such as using the alphabet song to assist filing, or turning number chains into a tune or more complex. Some strategies such as scan reading long words may suffice in most circumstances, but may prove flawed in others.The strategies are personal and will be employed dependant on context.

It is quite interesting that the coping strategies of the non-dyslexic developed to assist linier thinkers have become the norm in work practice, and are often seen as absolutes in society. These strategies may not actually be needed by the dyslexic, and we can often disable the dyslexic by insisting that they use coping strategies that are unsuitable for their mental processes.

For example a manager may insist on turning a project into a linier sequential Project Plan and Gant Chart, for a project that only the dyslexic will work on, while the dyslexic will process the entirety of the project spatially, being intuitively aware of all the interdependencies and interrelationships. The manager will as custom and practice insist on the project planning causing the dyslexic additional workload to translate their model into a linier process, and then back again, for no real tangible benefit to the process.