Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

13 December 2007

Disabilities (Can) Yield Competitive Advantages

Dyslexics make great entrepreneurs, says BusinessWeek. (Eh?)

Charles Schwab is cited as one example.

Well, while we're on the topic, don't even get me started on the benefits of Asperger's for engineers and technicians-to-be.

Okay, "benefits" is a strong word. But being possessed of a "healthy" mind lends us the luxury of cognitive laziness. I don't know much about living with dyslexia, but I do know that having to live with a sense of distrust for the way your mind works forces you to examine things more closely than most people would.

And learning to communicate with a person with Asperger's is an useful exercise in discovering how heavily people rely on semantic shortcuts, body language and restricted code in order to deal with each other.

A person with Asperger's will not comprehend the rationale for doing something unless you're able to clearly explain the methodology and its connection to the end result. For this reason, a number of them tend to excel in math or other "logical" pursuits.

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