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  • Writer's pictureArmelle

Can we stop calling our dyslexia traits 'symptoms' please?

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Eurgh. Symptoms. The word makes me coil up and ready to spring out at anyone who continues to use it when discussing neurodiversity.

Why do I hate the term so much?

Symptoms come from an ailment, a disease, a virus. A neurodiversity is none of those things.

It's not something that can be cured, saved or overcome.

Dyslexia is a difference, and the only people making it a disability are those who choose not to see it that way. Not fitting into a system built for one type of person isn't inclusive, so anyone who doesn't work well within it must not be able-minded.

Isn't this way of thinking so dumb?

What's in a word?

Well, I'll tell you... it's a lot. Words have meaning, and meaning transcends far deeper than the simple word it sits under.

The gravity of a word can change dependant on who you're speaking to, your society or your culture.

But for arguments sake, even the dictionary definition of 'symptom' even describes it as only fitting of an illness:

[NOUN] a physical or mental feature which is regarded as indicating a condition of disease, particularly such a feature that is apparent to the patient.

So there.

I mean come on, we're not dying. Yes, it may seem like the end of the world to a micro-manager that we can't think normatively to the binary, but who the hell can?

The more I delve into neurodiversity and dyslexia, the more I start to think why we're placed in such a category, given that ALL brains are different.

Obviously there are patterns in our brains which differ to most people, and there's a large portion of people who fit into that too, so what's all too clear for me now is that the divide is not in what we're capable of, but in society.

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