Spotting the strengths Made by Dyslexia

4 out of 5 dyslexic people attribute their success to their Dyslexic Thinking. Our 2 Value of Dyslexia reports by global big 4 consultancy EY (Ernst & Young) show that Dyslexic Thinking will play a vital role in the future. So what is dyslexic thinking? And how do we spot it?

Thinking outside the planet

Dyslexic minds see the world differently. They process information in divergent, creative and lateral ways. And because of this, they have imagined, and reimagined, the world we live in. They are game-changers, industry disruptors – always asking ‘what if?’ and ‘why not?’. And by doing this, they’ve transformed the world around us.


But education systems aren’t designed for dyslexic thinking. They typically measure success by judging how accurately students remember and regurgitate facts in an exam or test. Most dyslexics find this difficult, and stifling to their imaginative and creative thinking.

In the classroom, dyslexic children really need an opportunity to shine with their imagination and creativity. They thrive on multi-sensory tasks that allow them to explore topics from all angles. They are curious learners. Amazing story tellers. Unstoppable explorers.

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This ability to think outside the box is vital for the future of work.

At the recent BETT conference (bringing together educators with transformative learning technology), we spoke about how standardised tests measure standardised thinking. But the world needs minds that think differently.

Watch our BETT keynote speech Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow BETT Show

The future needs dyslexic thinkers

The world is changing fast. We may not know the jobs of the future, but we know the capabilities they’ll require.

As World Economic Forum puts it, “‘human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving.”

Our value of dyslexia reports, produced with global consultancy EY, found that dyslexics have the skills and thinking needed for the workforce of the future. So it’s never been more important to be able to spot and support these valuable ways of thinking.

Watch the EY Value of Dyslexia Report Film and find links to the reports on our website.

Dyslexic Thinking Skills explained

There are 6 Dyslexic Thinking Skills areas. Whilst no two dyslexics are the same, all will have a combination of some of these skills.

These are broken into two areas:

  1. SPECIFIC SKILLS – these relate to the career paths often preferential to dyslexic thinkers;
  2. GENERAL SKILLS – which relate to most sorts of education, activities and careers.



VISUALISING: Interacting with space, senses, physical ideas & new concepts.

  • Moving: physical interpretation & game playing. Examples: Dancer, Musician, Sports player.
  • Making: visualising, planning & making. Examples: Engineer, Architect, Craft worker, Programmer, Designer, Chef, Gardener.
  • Inventing: exploring possibilities, making connections & inventing. Examples: Scientist, Technologist, Entrepreneur.

IMAGINING: Creating an original piece of work, or giving ideas a new spin

  • Creating: creating completely original work from your imagination. Examples: Designers, Artists, Composers, Writers.
  • Interpreting: using imagination to give ideas a new twist, or bring out a fresh angle. Examples: Actor, Advertiser, PR, Director, Photographer.

COMMUNICATING: Crafting & conveying clear & engaging messages.

  • Explaining: assessing situations/information, & explaining clearly to other people. Examples: Journalist, Marketeer, Politician, Teacher, Campaigner.
  • Story-telling: creating vivid & engaging experiences in words, pictures or other media. Examples: Author, Writer, Games Developer, Song Writer, Film Maker.



REASONING: Understanding patterns, evaluating possibilities & making decisions.

  • Simplifying: understanding, taking apart & simplifying complex ideas & concepts.
  • Analysing: using logic to decide on strength of an argument or where the truth lies.
  • Deciding: interpreting patterns & situations to predict future events & make decisions.
  • Visioning: seeing past detail to gain a strategic (big picture) view of a subject or problem.

CONNECTING: Understanding self; connecting, empathising & influencing others.

  • Understanding self: recognising & managing own feelings, & understanding how they affect own behaviour and that of others.
  • Understanding others: understanding & interpreting the verbal, physical & emotional reactions of other people.
  • Influencing: managing, influencing & inspiring constructive emotions in other people. Empathising: sensing, understanding & responding (emotionally and/or practically) to how people feel.

EXPLORING: being curious & exploring ideas in a constant & energetic way.

  • Learning: having a curiosity for finding out new things and learning new skills.
  • Digging: looking into things in a way that means most is learnt or discovered.
  • Energising: being so passionate about something it gives a buzz and tenacity to learn about it.
  • Doing: using new knowledge to achieve a result that surprises & pleases self or others

Do you see the world differently? To take our Dyslexic Thinking Skills test go to

Download the Dyslexic Thinking Skills Explained fact sheet from our website.

Understanding strengths, unlocking potential

At Made by Dyslexia, we’ve spent the last 2 years helping the world to properly understand what dyslexia is. We’ve also been campaigning for ways that dyslexic thinking can be valued and supported.

This year, we’re not just here to level the playing field. We’re here to change the game for good.

In 2020, we have bold plans to transform classrooms, workplaces and government policy. But more than this, we want to transform how the world sees and values dyslexia – and how dyslexics see and value themselves.

That way everyone can understand their strengths and fulfil their true potential.

Are you in?

Stay tuned to hear more!

Kate Griggs