Donna Flagg: Dyslexia Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.

Believe me, this article, “Dyslexia Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” is not some fluffy, syrupy homage to “the gifts of dyslexia.”

The author, an entrepreneur and business consultant, who also wrote a book about communicating in the workplace called, “Surviving Dreaded Conversations,” makes the case that schools must change their approach to education and help kids develop and practice real-world skills, especially the ones that are so desperately needed in the workplace, such as creativity and innovation. As she points out, with so much lock-step and dull emphasis in schools on arriving at the correct answers in only prescribed ways, an appreciation of those who learn differently is squelched. And then as we know, this one-sided, singularly focused approach to fix the deficits of those with learning disabilities, can kill spirit, at least temporarily, and rob us all from the potential of many.

She does however say, “…in some weird, ironic way, my success today is directly tied to my ostensible failures of the past, not because of the scars, but because of what I had to learn in order to survive a system that did not recognize me as a legitimate member.

Though Ms. Flagg ultimately sounds like the epitome of a glass half-full person, she adds, “I didn’t always feel as though my years struggling in school were the gift that I do now, however. After I was diagnosed in college, I was angry and full of resentment toward the people who were unable to see the truth of what I was, and a system so small-minded that it couldn’t function without labels. But it wasn’t just the labels that angered me; it was the derogatory, demeaning, minimizing, soul-sucking nature attached to them and how they were used against well-meaning and talented kids without even the slightest awareness or concern of how it would affect the child’s view of him or herself.

Right on!

About Sanford

Learning Disabilities specialist and Educational Consultant
This entry was posted in Education Issues and Ideas, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, Personal Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Donna Flagg: Dyslexia Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.

  1. Richard says:

    Joan Azarva: “Can you tell me what technology you use to help you compensate­?”

    Donna Flagg: “None. I hire people to cover the areas in which I do not exceed.”

    Of course, Ms. Flagg doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the keyboard she’s using to write her comment is technology. I’m not saying she uses “assistive technology” but no doubt she uses the same tools we all do and relies on them as much or more.

  2. Sanford says:

    Richard,

    I suppose that’s an example of a technology tool that’s so widespread that it’s not even thought of as technology anymore, or by some.

  3. Jeroen says:

    How is she making the case that schools must change their approach to education and help kids develop and practice real-world skills, especially the ones that are so desperately needed in the workplace, such as creativity and innovation.

  4. Sanford says:

    Jeroen,
    Public speaking and presentations. There’s also some evidence that her Krysalis Group plays a role in information and giving back.

  5. Richard says:

    Sandy: And the fact that she doesn’t see that undermines her credibility as one who understands the effects of language based learning disabilities.

    Anyone who would advocate for kids with language based LD ought to understand, deeply, the importance of electronic tools for writing.

  6. Sanford says:

    Richard,
    Not sure I feel the same level of credibility loss as you, but you make a good point.

    I reread the article and on the second go-round, her answer in the comment that you referred to was perhaps flip. I wonder if she’d accede to your point.

    Overall I liked her spit and fire.

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