“To be dyslexic…..is to have a mind like an old fashioned champagne coupe: a very wide cup of perception supported by a narrow, fragile pipe of processing capacity.”
This lovely metaphor for explaining dyslexia is from ‘Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me’ by Kate Clancy.
A metaphor uses one thing to describe another. A Greek word, meaning ‘to carry’, it is a figure of speech that compares on thing to another, to help bring a concept to life, to make something easier to understand and relate to. It ‘carries’ an idea. It can also make a difficult concept easy to explain.
Metaphor is used by educators, coaches and storytellers to create deep and powerful shifts in understanding.
Dyslexic people often find creative concepts like metaphor work well for them, and that they can think them up quite easily, as they have a tendency to work in ‘visual modes of thought’.
For lots of neurotypical people, understanding dyslexia is really quite complex, so by using metaphor like the champagne coupe can help by making it vivid and more relatable.
Have a go at forming a metaphor to describe your understanding dyslexia to others. Let us know what you think up.
- Clanchy, K. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me (2019)
- Owen, N. The Magic of Metaphor (2016)
- West, T. In the Mind’s Eye(1943)
These books are all available to borrow from Dyslexia Scotland’s resource centre. (Please note: our resource centre is currently closed, due to our imminent office move.)
Katie Carmichael, Dyslexia Scotland’s Career Coach
I shall take off my dyslexic coat
And run away in my poetry dress
From ‘What I taught some kids and what they taught me’: About being out of place.