9-Dimensional Dyslexia Space: A New Paradigm

I’d like to introduce a concept for you. I call it “9D Dyslexia Space”.

When somebody says “I’m very / mildly / severely / wonderfully dyslexic”, there are many ways we can interpret that. But one thing’s for sure – you can’t measure it on a two-dimensional scale (and, often, that might include two-dimensional spiky profiles). One of the problems with spiky profiles is that there’s very little room for the spikes to interact with each other, overlap, and contextualise each other; and as dyslexia is not a series of unconnected pros and cons, this seems unsatisfactory.

What we need to do is place ourselves, as dyslexics, in more than two dimensions. It is, after all, how dyslexic people think!

To achieve this, let’s take three standard understandings of “how dyslexic you are”.

🟦 The first is measured by benefits and positives (we can call this “P”);

🟥 The second is measured by difficulties and struggles (we can call this “D”);

And because we’re all creatures of the world,

🟩 The third is measured by the environment (we can call this “E”).

Now, take three standard (and important to you) scales for what constitutes a positive. I’ve chosen material reasoning, creativity, and big picture thinking.

Draw an x, y, and z axis (like in the image). Measure yourself against each of these axes, and find out where you stand. Like so:

Next, do the same for the difficulties. What do you find most difficult? Here, I’ve chosen executive function, phonological processing, and sequencing. Create an x, y, and z axis, measure yourself, and find out where you stand.

Finally, do the same for the environment. For instance, you might choose the awareness others have, the barriers there are at work, and the enabling factors you and others create in the workspace. Where do you stand?

Now, once you’ve done this, you find that you probably occupy a different place on each of these graphs.You can show this, as I have, using number values (but it’s not necessary).

Take the places you occupy on these graphs, and create a new three-axis graph out of them. So, you now have an axis representing “positives” (P), an axis representing “difficulties” (D), and an axis representing the “environment” (E). As so:

Now plot your “positives” value on the blue axis, your “difficulties” value on the red axis, and your “environment” value on the green axis. You should get something that looks like this:

And that, essentially, gives a more rounded view of “how dyslexic you are” – the position you occupy in “9-dimensional dyslexia space”, arrived at through three 3D graphs, factored against each other in the form of a “compound” graph. It provides you with a view of your dyslexia, not as a series of unconnected “highs and lows”, but as a balance of positives, difficulties, and environmental factors, all contextualised against each other.

And isn’t that a more satisfying answer to the question: “how dyslexic am I?”…?