Dyslexia, Bad Spelling and Intelligence

Posted by admin in dyslexia-assistive-technology

I remember once studying with a non-native American who came to the US as a teenager. Though his English accent was perfect, when speaking he had quite a lot of grammar errors. I remember that whenever he was unsure of his grammar, he used to apologize, and quietly explain that he was a non-native American. When I asked him how come he keeps on repeating the fact that he is a non-native American, he answered that he would rather people know that he is a non-native American, then have people think that he was an uneducated or unintelligent person, resulting in poor grammar.

I recently read in a blog a suggestion for people with dyslexia or dysgraphia to add to their email signature the fact that the email writer has dyslexia. This in order to explain why there are so many spelling mistakes in the email…

As a dyslexic and terrible speller, this got me thinking, WHAT IS PREFERABLE?

  • For the mail recipient to potentially conclude that the email writer (“me”) is not very intelligent. FACT OF LIFE: Some people will conclude that a person with poor grammar, poor spelling, poor vocabulary (let’s remember that many times the written vocabulary of a dyslexic may be quite poor, because a person with dyslexia tries to write only the vocabulary that he has some confidence that he can spell correctly)… is simply not very educated or else not very intelligent.

  • For the mail recipient to have the knowledge and understanding that the email writer is dyslexic. FACT OF LIFE: Some people, mainly those ignorant of what dyslexia is all about, may associate dyslexia to a severe disability that the writer is suffering from.

So what do you think is preferable?

For me, after sending thousands of horribly spelled emails in my life, I came to the conclusion that both options listed above  are bad- a classic “lose-lose” scenario. A person with dyslexia must make the effort to spell correctly. Advanced writing assistive solutions, such as Ghotit, empower a person with dyslexia to produce correctly spelled text, removing from the table this whole “is it preferable to be  tagged as a Dyslexic vs Unintelligent person”  issue…

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