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Learn about the signs, strengths and challenges of Dyslexia, and how you can get support.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) that affects the way people process information.

Dyslexic people tend to take longer to complete tasks which others may not struggle with, such as reading and writing. They may also respond less quickly than others during conversations.

This particular symptom may be seen as the person not knowing how to answer – however, it is the efficient retrieval of information which takes longer to process, not the knowledge itself.

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Around 10% of the UK population is dyslexic, and it can affect anyone of any background, age and ability.

There are varying definitions of dyslexia, and no overall consensus on its causes.


Strengths of Dyslexia

Every dyslexic person is different and will experience their own unique strengths and challenges with the condition.

A dyslexic person may present strengths such as:

  • Strong problem-solving abilities (‘thinking outside the box’)
  • Big-picture thinking
  • Creativity
  • Ability to find innovative ideas and solutions
  • Pattern-spotting
  • A desire to take risks (‘entrepreneurial spirit’)
  • Good communication skills

Challenges of Dyslexia

Things a dyslexic person may struggle with include:

  • Processing information quickly, especially written information
  • Difficulties with short-term memory – they may appear forgetful
  • Organising priorities and managing time and deadlines
  • Attention to detail
  • Maintaining focus and concentration, especially in noisy, busy environments
  • Multitasking, for example taking notes whilst listening in a meeting
  • Written communication – this may be noticeably weaker than their verbal communication, and they may have difficulties explaining things succinctly

Dyslexic people might also appear resistant to change, and may prefer having in-person conversations (face-to-face or over the phone) to virtual conversations such as email or text.

However, dyslexic people can be found in all professions and lots of industries now recognise the benefits that come with dyslexic thinking. Many employers now actively focus on recruiting dyslexic and other neurodiverse individuals.


"I still feel very angry and let down sometimes that I wasn’t diagnosed sooner. I have no doubt that being able to access support earlier would have made a big difference in my life."

Read Brian's story of how he was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, but wished the signs had been spotted earlier – so he could have accessed support to make his worklife easier, sooner.

What to do if you think you might have Dyslexia

If you think you might be dyslexic, the first step is to do your research and learn as much as you can about the condition.

We all experience challenges with different behaviours and tasks, but if you find you notice the characteristics of dyslexia more prominently in your own experiences – and importantly, it is having a significant impact on your life – it’s best to take action to get support.

Dyslexia can only be assessed by a Specialist Teacher Assessor or an Educational/Occupational Psychologist, and you can expect to pay upwards of £500. However, it’s best to speak to your health professional first.

Most employers should put reasonable adjustments in place at work without requiring evidence of dyslexia, and some may offer to fund a diagnosis.

Visit the ‘What to do if you believe you might be neurodivergent’ page for more information.

Need support?

We know that when you’re struggling emotionally, practically and financially, often the hardest step to take is reaching out and asking for support. And these challenges can have even more of an impact if you’re neurodivergent. But everyone experiences challenges in life, and it’s important to remember that you are not alone – after all, there are thousands of neurodiverse engineers just like you around the world, many of whom may be in a similar situation.

Our support is here to help you live better and thrive – whatever your cicumstances. So if you’re ready to get in touch with us, we’re ready to listen to your needs and offer whatever support we can.


You are not alone. Hear from people across the engineering community on how they’ve managed their neurodiversity journey, and what being a neurodivergent engineer means to them.


Read Brian's story of how he got a diagnosis for dyslexia - but wishes the signs had been spotted sooner.

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