BYU Today

Seeing Dyslexia Differently

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Graphic designer Madalyne Marie Clark Hymas (BFA ’13) grew up believing she was stupid. But now she views her dyslexia in a new light—and her BFA final show, The Dyslexic Advantage, is one of 15 works nationwide selected for display at the Smithsonian Institution’s S. Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C., through January 2014.

According to Hymas, dyslexia is more than reversing letters: some dyslexics excel in visual-spatial skills—a strength for Hymas, who rapidly perceives information in 3-D form. As a child, Hymas had trouble differentiating between a p and d, which to her were the same letter. Hymas says, “Ask me, ‘Which letter is this?’ and I’ll say, ‘Which way do you want me to see it?’”

Hymas’s art installation, exhibited in the Harris Fine Arts Center in spring 2013, includes quotes from her childhood journal, memories of being told she wasn’t smart. They were emotional memories to relive, she says, “but now I realize I’m good at what I do because of dyslexia, not in spite of it.”

— Jessica Jarman Reschke (’14)