Abstract:

Dyslexia, writing and performance challenges existing ways of theorising dyslexia such as: are dyslexics creative because they compensate for a disability? Aby Watson suggests that the medical model of dyslexia has been allowed to dictate debates about dyslexia and argues instead that dyslexic’s must themselves ask the question: what is dyslexia? In other words, dyslexics need to explore dyslexia through creative practices, such as writing and performance, to speak about their experiences with dyslexia.

This exploration involves a refusal to identify with a medical or deficit model of dyslexia as a generic interpretation of dyslexia, and uses examples of dyslexic writers. These illustrate the importance of dyslexics defining dyslexia themselves as well as highlighting how performance and writing raise ethical questions about dyslexia, in relation to concepts of empowerment and stigma.

Dyslexia, Writing and Performance was initially written as Aby's academic dissertation for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Post graduation, Aby collaborated with dyslexic academic Dr. Nim Folb (of independent dyslexic publishers R-A-S-P) to publish an edition of the text for Kindle. It is available for purchase here.