PC READS event will focus on the positive side of dyslexia
Typically, dyslexia is perceived as a disability that sets people back in the world. Dean Bragonier, founder of the nonprofit NoticeAbility, Inc., and a dyslexic individual himself, says the learning disorder is just the opposite.
Bragonier is scheduled to speak about the unique advantages of a dyslexic brain on Monday, Oct. 1, during an event hosted by PC READS. The event, entitled “The Golden Age of Dyslexia,” is set to take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Park City High School lecture hall. It is funded by PC READS and the Hall Family Fund.
Bragonier’s nonprofit, NoticeAbility, Inc., works with dyslexic students to help them identify their strengths and build their confidence. Treasure Mountain Junior High utilizes one of NoticeAbility’s programs to teach social and emotional development to dyslexic students.
He said his presentation will focus on the work of neurologists Brock and Fernette Eide, authors of the book “The Dyslexic Advantage.” Their studies discovered that people with dyslexia tend to be better at particular skills, such as spatial reasoning and creativity. Because of these abilities, dyslexic people generally excel in certain careers over others, Bragonier said.
“We can make young dyslexics aware of what these attributes look like, so that they can understand not only what makes their brain so effective, but more importantly, to understand that reading, while difficult, is not the major theme or commentary of their intelligence,” he said. “It’s just one aspect of learning that we do poorly at, but we’ve got these very significant advantages.”
He said everyone can benefit from the event, since most people likely know someone with dyslexia, even if they are not aware. About one in every five people is dyslexic, said Kristi Marsh, programming chair of PC READS.
She said this event, and others the Park City nonprofit hosts throughout the year, are meant to bring the community together so people can better understand how dyslexic people think and learn.
Marsh said she is excited to have an event that focuses exclusively on the positive side of dyslexia, because students struggling to read due to their learning disability often have low confidence.
“You notice the abilities that these children have with dyslexia versus the inabilities or the weaknesses,” she said. “Focusing on these strengths is building their self esteem.”
Bragonier said his objective with the event and his work with NoticeAbility, Inc., is to “construct a new paradigm around dyslexia.” In the past, he said people have focused on what dyslexic individuals cannot do rather than discussing what they excel at. He hopes to change that.
A question-and-answer session is expected to follow Bragonier’s presentation. The event is free and open to the public.