Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dyslexia, Creativity, Visual-Spatial Ability, Positive Psychology

Major Advisor

Melissa Bray

Associate Advisor

James Kaufman

Associate Advisor

Michael Coyne

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


When a student has a learning disability in reading and or dyslexia, interventions focus on remediating the weakness. Positive psychology is a field of psychology that looks to help people, based on harnessing a person's strengths, to create better outcomes. Strengths-based or asset-based interventions have been used with people with developmental disabilities to learn new skills. This study hoped to help identify strengths for people with dyslexia in two areas that have been hypothesized to be strengths for them: creativity and visual-spatial ability. Creativity has typically been assessed with domain-general measures rather than actual measures of creativity. Similarly, visual-spatial ability has been measured with paper-and-pencil tests. Eide and Eide (2011) have suggested that students with dyslexia may be better able to demonstrate their strengths using real-world measures. The purpose of this study was to compare the performance of students with and without dyslexia using real-world products. More specifically, the goals were to see if they had different patterns of creative abilities; to assess in what areas they differed between groups; and, within the dyslexia group, to identify where their strengths lay. An additional question inquired about the difference between a psychometrically validated visual-spatial measure, and a real-world three-dimensional creative product. The two groups had different patterns of strengths and differed within the written domain; significant results were not found within the dyslexia group, and visual-spatial ability did not differ between group or domain; educational implications are discussed.