The Gift of Dyslexia

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The London Sperm Bank’s leaflet for sperm donors features a section entitled ‘Who cannot be donors?’ This rather extensive list has been devised in an attempt to “minimise the risk of transmitting common genetic diseases or malformations to any children born”.

These ‘genetic diseases’ and ‘malformations’ range from mental disorders, such as psychosis, mental retardation and severe OCD, to neurological diseases including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, MS and Autism – to name a few – and other conditions like Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome and even Colour Blindness. While Schizophrenia, Downs Syndrome and MS have strong hereditary components, there’s been a big debate among experts about whether conditions like dyslexia even constitute a disability.

For those of you who know Steve, you’ll also know that he’s dyslexic. But he – along with many others – sees his dyslexia as an advantage. He perceives it as a gift, because of the amazing attributes associated with the condition. Take Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and even our very own Steve Edge – many may say they ‘suffer(ed)’ from dyslexia, but surely possessing revolutionary, innovative capabilities is far from suffering.

If it weren’t for these great dyslexics we may still be living in the dark, blind to the fact that E in fact equals mc 2, believing that Apple is just a fruit or that brands can’t possess an identity. But luckily for us, this was never the case.

Yes, dyslexic people may think differently from the masses but how boring would a one-minded world be? We need people whose thoughts are slightly off the beaten track. This is because the best ideas aren’t born from convention or tradition; Steve would be sure to tell you that.

Einstein once said that ‘if at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it’. So we have to embrace absurdity, difference, and everything else that makes us unique. There’s no denying dyslexic people make a great contribution to our society. So now, the only question left on Steve’s lips is ‘why the f*** would you not want my sperm?!’

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