I recently read an interesting article called “A rose is a rose is a flower” (http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article881892.ece). The article discusses the pros and cons of being labeled as a dyslexic.

The “pros” – in many cases the diagnosis of being dyslexic, provides the reasoning of why an intelligent adult or child is under-performing in school or in work. Suddenly behavior, that seemed inexplicable to an employer or parent not familiar with dyslexia, is explained. Not only that, once diagnosed correctly the appropriate instruction and assistive technology may be implemented to assist the person with dyslexia.

The “cons” – the dyslexia label brings the disability into focus, also at times when it is not necessary to highlight the disability. As quoted from the article “a person with a label has to be extremely mindful of ‘minor failings’ as all his behavior is perceived through the lens of his disability.” Giving people one-dimensional labels may result in disregarding personal differences and strengths. “While we readily accept that ‘normal’ kids can be quite different in terms of their personalities, preferences and proclivities, we tend to assume that all children with a particular clinical tag (e.g. dyslexia) are alike.”

Do the pros overcome cons in dyslexic labeling?

Well, in my opinion, it depends on the situation. In a supportive school environment, where the main objective is to improve the learning abilities of a dyslexic, it should be beneficial to be classified as dyslexic. In such an environment, the school, together with the support of the parents, will work out the best program and learning environment offered by the school to the dyslexic student.

However, in a work environment, where the main objective is to optimize the productivity of the employee, being classified as a dyslexic may be harmful. The main objective of a modern workplace is not to optimize the work environment of a dyslexic person, but rather to ensure that the person filing a given position is providing maximum value. In such environments, being categorized as dyslexic may not benefit the person with dyslexia; rather this categorization may result in unnecessary discrimination against the person with dyslexia.

Bottom line

I think that at the bottom line it is up to the dyslexic/ dyslexic parent to assess if it is advantageous or disadvantageous to be categorized as a dyslexic. If it is advantageous, then sure, let the word out, and try to maximize the benefits of being labeled with dyslexia. However, if it is not, and you feel that being categorized as dyslexic may be used against you, then withholding the fact that you are dyslexic should be the right way to go.

4 thoughts on “Labeled as a Person with Dyslexia

  • December 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    If we view dyslexia as disability, then this is indeed a problem. But parents taught me from the time I was identified as dyslexic that dyslexia was a difference not a disability. It gives some unfair advantages to the dyslexic – in comparison to which the non-dyslexic is disabled. On the other hand, in many situations – particularly formal educational settings – it does manifest strongly as disability. With that ballanced view, I don;t believe the label is a problem for the individual. However, do we need to accept that society in general does not understand the positive sides.

  • December 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Thanks a lot for placing ur article.it is very helpful.It tells u abt d pros and corns of dyslexia.However,i feel society wl try to accept and understand the positive side.

    • December 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm


      Thanks for your comment. Being positive is a great trait.

      Cheers, Ofer

  • January 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    It is the most common learning disabilities and about 4% of people over the world suffer from it. There is difficulty in processing language, especially in tasks involving reading and writing. Dyslexia is more common in males as compared to females and it can continue into adulthood also. Impressed by the articel.The article is valuable for all concerned ppl.

Comments are closed.