As this article from The Telegraph shows, GCHQ employs more than 100 dyslexic and dyspraxic spies.
The British intelligence agency uses their ability to analyse complex information in a “dispassionate, logical and analytical” way to combat threats such as foreign espionage.
While many people with dyslexia struggle with reading or writing, they are often extremely
skilled at deciphering facts from patterns or events. IT specialist Matt, 35, chairman of the dyslexic and dyspraxic support community at GCHQ, told The Sunday Times: “What people don’t realise is that people with neuro diversity usually have a ‘spikyskills’ profile, which means that certain skill areas will be below par and others may be well above,” he said.
“My reading might be slower than some individuals and maybe my spelling is appalling, and my handwriting definitely is … but if you look at the positive side, my 3D spacial-perception awareness and creativity is in the top 1% of my peer group.”
Some 120 “neuro-diverse” staff employed by the intelligence agency.
Children are diagnosed with dyslexia for a range of reasons including those whose difficulty in reading is unexpected, those who show a discrepancy between reading and listening comprehension or pupils who do not make meaningful progress in reading even when provided with high-quality support.
The NHS estimates that 4-8 per cent of all schoolchildren in England have some sort of
dyslexia. Dyspraxia, which affects sufferers’ co-ordination, is diagnosed in around one in 20 children. A GCHQ official said: “Neuro-diverse individuals can bring additional value to the full spectrum of roles and jobs across the department.”