This month has been our dyslexia awareness month with the theme as “Understanding dyslexia“. During the course of this period, we have shared information on dyslexia which includes: myths and truths about dyslexia, prevalence of dyslexia, causes of dyslexia, differences in brain functions of people with dyslexia and those who do not have it, assessment/diagnosis of dyslexia, strengths and positive skills of people with dyslexia, strategies to help them learn, accommodations and school supports and so much more. It has been an interesting period of unraveling the myth behind dyslexia and creating awareness about it.
In this final part of the series, we will be sharing information about famous and successful individuals who have experienced similar difficulties with language and were found to be dyslexic. Yes! These set of people were able to maximize the diverse strengths they possess and utilize their skills to excel in life, despite the negative reports they received from teachers and the society at large. As creative thinkers, they have been able take on extraordinary and legendary roles, making their impact felt across generations. Although, some are dead, the impact made by them is still felt till date while some are alive and excelling in their fields. Among these successful people are inventors, actors/actresses, CEOs, entrepreneurs, film producers/directors, writers, architects and more.
Truly, having a diagnosis of dyslexia is not a sentence to failure rather, an awareness of a different learning ability.
Below are some famous and successful people with dyslexia:
Steve Jobs: is a name that comes to mind when the computer and telecommunications company ‘Apple’ is mentioned with many inventions such as laptops and portable devices like iphones, ipods and ipads. Steve jobs is best known as a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He experienced difficulties in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Albert Einstein: was a German Physicist, an author and award winning scientist. He was famous for his timeless discoveries and theories. Having dyslexia, he was able to use his imagination and creativity to stand out in his discoveries. He was also known to be a genius with an IQ of 160.
Tom Cruise: was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to work harder on what he was really good at from a young age. In Hollywood film industry, he is a peak performing actor and producer well known for his leading roles in popular movies and production. He is one actor that has excelled in his field.
Thomas Edison: was a scientist and inventor with creative innovations that caused a revolution in how things are done presently across the world. Among his innovations was the invention of the light bulb. He was said to have been dyslexic.
Will Smith: The fresh prince of bel-Air as he is popular called is indeed a king of comedy dedicated to excellence. He is an award winning actor famous for his many comedy roles in movies. He refers to his dyslexia as one of the major reasons for his success.
Richard Branson: After series of struggles with school work, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, with this, he was able to use his strengths to excel. he is a well known successful entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Virgin group owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines.
Sally Gardner: a famous author who was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has sold more than 1.5 million copies of her work in the United Kingdom. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.
Orlando Bloom: a famous actor and movie star claimed he had to do work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way. As a child he was diagnosed with dyslexia but he was also told that he had a high IQ score. This gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.
Michael Faraday: an English scientist who contributed greatly to the field of electromagnetic induction was reported to have had terrible trouble with spelling and punctuation. He also had poor memory. One thing that Faraday had common to dyslexics was a powerful visual sense. He was able to form a mental image of most of his studies.
George Washington: The first United States President had trouble with words particularly spelling. Historians report that George Washington didn’t spend much time in school and was a self-taught man. George often spelled words the way they sounded: blew for blue, oyl for oil and coff for cough. Although there is no evidence, some believe he had dyslexia.
Henry Ford: The famous entrepreneur and businessman was recorded to have had dyslexia. He even attributed some of his success to dyslexia. Even today, decades after he was born, you might still see cars on the road bearing his name.
Whoopi Goldberg: An actress and humanitarian, Whoopi was diagnosed with dyslexia. She claims that the support of her mother and a great and understanding teacher helped her surmount her learning challenges. She is one of twelve people in history to have won all four of entertainment’s major awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.
These are only a few of the many famous and successful individuals that were diagnosed with dyslexia and have been able to focus and maximize their strengths to excel in life. They did not let anything hold them back not even a learning difficulty!
Children with dyslexia have enormous capacity and abilities to succeed.
They learn differently. They have gifts.They are special!
They can become anything they set their minds upon with your love, encouragement and support.
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