Mind Mapping for Dyslexics

Mind Mapping for Dyslexics

The benefits of Mind Mapping are well known. It is used by millions of people across the world for a wide variety of activities from planning, organizing and learning to problem solving in settings ranging from educational, professional or just at home. It has been referred to as the ‘ultimate organizational thinking tool’. Mind Maps have a natural structure that represents the brain’s natural image-filled thinking processes and helps reinforce the ‘maps of thought’ in the brain. But what if these ‘maps of thoughts’ are even more disorganized than normal?

Mind Mapping Can Assist Dyslexics

Widely accepted characteristics of dyslexia include poor memory, trouble with focusing, planning, and organization. In general, tasks also take longer to carry out. However, with Mind Mapping these problems are eased. The colorful, symbolic and image related stature means that Mind Maps are less dense than text. The substantial lack of words creates an easier and more effective environment for the visual learner. Elaine Colliar, a Scottish accelerated-learning trainer states, “Dyslexia is often likened to a circuit board where one component is missing, therefore they have to devise a new strategy to wire that circuit board completely, and Mind Mapping can assist dyslexics as it consist solely of images".

Benefits of Mind Mapping

Getting ideas down on paper is often the most difficult part for students approaching a task and many dyslexics can tend to drift and become distracted. However, when you draw a Mind Map you are constantly seeing, in your peripheral vision, what you have already done, whilst working on a new idea. This decreases the possibility of losing your train of thought as you are automatically reviewing the rest of your Mind Map.

Another huge benefit of Mind Mapping is that it provides structure. For example when planning an essay, the ideas in the Mind Map can be transferred into a linear form, expanding images and single words into sentences and structured paragraphs that remain focused on specific points.

The First Mind Mapping Software in History

The use of Mind Mapping has been made even more accessible with the introduction of Mind Mapping software, including Tony Buzan’s (the founder of Mind Mapping) iMindMap – the first software in history that fully captures the associative, organic nature of human thought. Mind Mapping software has opened up opportunities far beyond its ‘traditional capabilities, creating an explosion in creativity, innovation and knowledge sharing’. Mind Mapping software has proven popular in primary and secondary schools as well as further and higher education by dyslexic and non-dyslexic students. Used with interactive whiteboards, the whole class can participate. This fires imagination and reinforces learning and encourages inclusion.

Using Mind Mapping Software

Planning or school work is usually an unattractive task to any student, let alone one suffering from learning difficulties. However, using Mind Mapping software means that maps can be created and saved, and then amended at any time, with information being added or deleted. As they can then be stored they are ideal to come back to for future use or revision. Instead of pages and pages of linear uncreative notes, you produce bite sized chunks the mind can cope with, making a subject easier to remember for a dyslexic sufferer. Mind Mapping enables thoughts to be organized enabling better work to be produced, more thoroughly, correctly and quickly every time.

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