Here’s a look at the remarkable lives of celebrities with dyslexia who not only surpassed their challenges, but went on to become trailblazers in their chosen field.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read, spell, and comprehend written text. Without a proper diagnosis, those with the condition are often assumed to be unintelligent or uninterested. But this cannot be farther from the truth.
Dyslexia does not reflect the intellect or the talent of a person. In fact, there are several famous people who have excelled in their respective careers by conquering the condition. Some of them even credit dyslexia with having put them on the path towards success.
Here are some of the celebrities who did not let dyslexia become a stumbling block to their success:
It can be hard to believe that an accomplished director of his stature had a learning disability, and reading challenges.The Oscar winning filmmaker who reignited our interest in dinosaurs with his ‘Jurassic Park’ movies, was not diagnosed with dyslexia until he was in his sixties. He claims that the diagnosis helped him make sense of the struggles he had while reading scripts. However, he feels that although it took longer for him to read a script, the extra time helped him identify interesting parts of the text.
This multi-dimensional founder of Virgin Group, had a tough time with standardized tests during his school years. He has been open about his dyslexia, and credits the condition for his venture into entrepreneurship. Conferred with several prestigious awards, he is also a noted philanthropist and is known for his humanitarian endeavours. His glorious achievements are proof that the challenges associated with dyslexia can be easily overcome by perseverance and hard work.
This Hollywood A-lister, who has acted in such hit movies as Mission Impossible and Jerry Maguire was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was seven. He struggled to hide his condition throughout his school years, fearing ridicule from his peers. He was worried that his reading challenges could affect his chances of getting movie roles. However, he learnt to focus on reading and developed his comprehension by getting the right kind of support. He took every step to ensure that dyslexia did not not hold him back from achieving superstardom.
Who can forget the riveting performance of this gifted actress in the Spielberg directorial ‘The color Purple’, or her Oscar-winning acting in the 1990 movie ‘Ghost’? The talented actress, however, was labelled slow and stupid at school due to her dyslexia. Thanks to her mother who constantly supported her by reading to her, Whoopi was able to retain her love for books. She is now a strong advocate for raising dyslexia awareness, and is involved with several programs that help children with learning disabilities.
It might be surprising to know that this hard-hitting journalist who regularly reads the prompter to deliver news headlines, was diagnosed with Dyslexia as a child. He is grateful to his school for recognizing his reading challenges, and for encouraging him to get help. This enabled him to seek intervention which subsequently led him to do well in academics.
Did you know that this comedic genius who wowed us in rib tickling entertainers such as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and ‘Bruce Almighty’ did not do well at school? It took an insightful teacher at his school to look beyond his disruptive antics and identify his incredible talent. This reinforcement helped him hone his skills instead of languishing with low self-esteem due to his dyslexia and poor academic performance.
These celebrity stories reiterate the need for early intervention and support systems, so that children with dyslexia are not left to believe that they are any less than their peers. They also serve as shining examples for those with learning disabilities, demonstrating that no challenge is too difficult to overcome with determination and positive attitude.
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