Authors: Rachel Lambert, Edmund Harriss.

Article: Insider accounts of dyslexia from research mathematicians.

Publication: Educational Studies in Mathematics (Springer). Published: 07 February 2022 2022 | DOI: 10.1007/s10649-021-10140-2

[Full Text]


Within educational research, dyslexia and other disabilities are typically conceptualized as deficits. The theory of neurodiversity encourages researchers to conceptualize cognitive differences as natural forms of human diversity with unique sets of challenges and strengths. Using neurodiversity as our theoretical framework, we analyze the experiences of five research mathematicians with dyslexia as told through personal narratives to find common strengths and challenges for dyslexic thinkers at the highest level of mathematics. We report on 4 themes: (1) highly visual and intuitive ways of mathematical thinking, (2) issues with language and translation between forms, (3) issues with memorization of mathematical facts and procedures, and (4) resilience as a strength of dyslexia that matters in mathematics. We use our participants’ insights to explore how neurodiversity, a theory of cognitive disability developed by and for neurodiverse people, could expand opportunities for research. We call for mathematics educators to consider the strengths and challenges of dyslexic learners, as well as valuing expertise from insider perspectives.

Tagged as: adult dyslexia, creativity, dyslexic talents, mathematics, neurodiversity, picture-thinking, and visual-spatial skills


Lambert, R., Harriss, E. Insider accounts of dyslexia from research mathematicians. Educ Stud Math (2022).

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