Often, when we are learning about a new diagnosis in our life (child or otherwise), we look to celebrities, or famous people, to help us see that it can affect anyone. There are many famous people with dyslexia, and the list might surprise you!

Often, when we are learning about a new diagnosis in our life (child or otherwise), we look to celebrities, or famous people, to help us see that it can affect anyone. There are many famous people with dyslexia, and the list might surprise you!

Dyslexia is a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence. It is also called a reading disability. Here is a previous video I did on dyslexia.

Dyslexia is ill-defined and not yet really fully understood. It does not help that there are many definitions and many labels such as “reading disability” and “Specific Learning Difficulty”.

We are in the infancy of neuroscience and there is much more to do and learn before we understand how the brain works differently in some learners and from learner to learner. But there is the notion that labelling can stigmatize children, and indeed some labels can, such as “stupid”, “slow”, or “dumb”, however some labels, like dyslexic can help our children get the support and accommodations they need.

woman with book on face

TYPES OF DYSLEXIA

There are six recognized types of dyslexia. Let’s have a look at them.

PRIMARY DYSLEXIA

This is the most common type of dyslexia, and is a dysfunction of the left side of the brain (cerebral cortex) and does not change with age. There are various levels of severity with this type of dyslexia and many are still successful academically and throughout their lives. There are others who continue to struggle significantly with reading, writing, and spelling throughout their adult lives. Primary dyslexia is hereditary and is found more often in boys than in girls.

SECONDARY DYSLEXIA

Secondary dyslexia is caused by issues with brain development during fetal development. It usually diminishes as the child grows – so yes, they “grow out of it”.

TRAUMA DYSLEXIA

This type of dyslexia can occur after brain trauma or injury to the part of the brain that controls reading and writing. This is not usually seen in school age children, but is more prevalent in adults with brain injuries.

VISUAL OR AUDITORY DYSLEXIA

Visual dyslexia is also known as “visual processing disorder” where the brain does not properly interpret visual cues and signals. Auditory dyslexia is also known as “auditory processing disorder” where there are issues processing sounds and speech.

DYSLEXIA

Dysgraphia refers to the child’s difficulty holding and controlling a pencil so that the correct markings can be made on the paper.

girl in red reading on bench

DYSLEXIA AND CREATIVITY

There are many examples of people who have dyslexia and are incredibly creative. There is no imperial evidence that proves that people with dyslexia are naturally more creative than others but there are still studies and research going on. Many actors and performing artists thrive in the entertainment industry, and there are a number of entrepreneurs who have brilliant creative ideas. Of course, what we see are people with support and who have found ways to accommodate their needs.


FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH DYSLEXIA

Here is a list of a few famous people with dyslexia:

  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Tim Tebow
  • Keira Knightley
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Tom Cruise
  • Richard Branson
  • Walt Disney
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Bill Gates
  • Albert Einstein
  • Agatha Christie 

Of course, this list is not extensive. But as you look at these creative, entrepreneurial and inventive people, you can see why some really feel there is a correlation between dyslexia and creativity.


DYSLEXIA IS A GIFT

We don’t have to let dyslexia stigmatize and define us in a negative way. Looking at the lists of successful people can encourage and inspire us that a difficulty in reading does not have to hold us back. Dyslexia can be a gift. I don’t think that people with dyslexia are successful in spite of their diagnosis but because of it. Finding ways to accommodate the challenges can open up doors and allow you to see things differently.

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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