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Benefits of Dyslexia (Part 1)

Have you ever wondered why are there so many dyslexic people? Dr. Norman Geschwind did. Dr. Geschwind was a professor at Harvard Medical School and one of America’s top neurologists when he gave a talk in 1982 where he asked that very question. The answer he gave was contained in this sentence:  “One of the most important lessons to be learned from the genetic study of many diseases…has been that the… high frequency of certain conditions is explained by the fact that the important advantages conferred [by the condition]…may outweigh the obvious…disadvantages….” In other words, if you see a lot of some condition, it’s probably because there’s something good and useful about it.

Dr. Geschwind also mentioned the very high incidence of strengths that he found in the dyslexic people that he and other doctors worked with–particularly in the area of spatial reasoning–and he said that if dyslexia was a pathological or disease-related condition at all, it was a very unusual one. In fact, he ironically created the term “pathology of superiority” to describe a supposed disease that created advantages.

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