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Summary of Warning Signs
Preschool warning signs
Reading and spelling difficulties
Handwriting issues (dysgraphia)
Quality of written work
Directionality issues
Sequencing steps in a task
Rote memory of non-meaningful facts
Telling time on a clock with hands
Extremely messy bedrooms
Math difficulties
Co-existing conditions
Significant strengths of people with dyslexia
Good careers for people with dyslexia
Famous dyslexics
Articles on and by famous dyslexics


Symptoms of Dyslexia

Summary of Warning Signs

DISCLAIMER: No two people with dyslexia are exactly alike because dyslexia ranges from mild to moderate to severe to profound. Some people with dyslexia also have AD/HD.

Therefore, someone with dyslexia may not have every single symptom listed below. But they will have many of them. Professional testers look for a "constellation" or cluster of symptoms in the following areas.

If someone struggles with spelling, is a slow reader who has a difficult time sounding out unknown words, and has difficulty getting their great thoughts down on paper in acceptable form, AND that person has 3 or more of these classic warning signs, it is worth getting that person tested for dyslexia.

These problems are unexpected when compared to the person's proven abilities in other areas.

NEW: One page summary sheet of the warning signs of Dyslexia.
One is also available on the warning signs of ADD/ADHD.
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FREE. Just click here, then type in your home or work mailing address.

NEW: Watch our "Dyslexia: Symptoms & Solutions"
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Pre-school and kindergarten warning signs

If three or more of these warning signs exist, especially if there is dyslexia or AD/HD in the family tree, the child should be tested for dyslexia when the child becomes five years old. Also, phonemic awareness games and other reading readiness activities should be done daily during the preschool years.

  • delayed speech (not speaking any words by the child's first birthday. Often, they don't start talking until they are two, two-and-a-half, three, or even older.)
  • mixing up sounds in multi-syllabic words (ex: aminal for animal, bisghetti for spaghetti, hekalopter for helicopter, hangaberg for hamburger, mazageen for magazine, etc.)
  • early stuttering or cluttering
  • lots of ear infections
  • can't master tying shoes
  • confusion over left versus right, over versus under, before versus after, and other directionality words and concepts
  • late to establish a dominant hand
    May switch from right hand to left hand while coloring, writing, or doing any other task. Eventually, the child will usually establish a preferred hand, but it may not be until they are 7 or 8. Even then, they may use one hand for writing, but the other hand for sports.
  • inability to correctly complete phonemic awareness task
  • despite listening to stories that contain lots of rhyming words, such as Dr. Seuss, cannot tell you words that rhyme with cat or seat by the age of four-and-a-half
  • difficulty learning the names of the letters or sounds in the alphabet; difficulty writing the alphabet in order
  • Trouble correctly articulating R's and L's as well as M's and N's. They often have "immature" speech. They may still be saying "wed and gween" instead of "red and green" in second or third grade.

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Reading and Spelling

People with dyslexia do not make random reading errors. They make very specific types of errors. Their spelling reflects the same types of errors. Watch for these errors:


  • can read a word on one page, but won't recognize it on the next page.
  • knows phonics, but can't—or won't—sound out an unknown word.
  • slow, labored, inaccurate reading of single words in isolation (when there is no story line or pictures to provide clues)

      When they misread, they often say a word that has the same first and last letters, and the same shape, such as form-from or trial-trail.

      they may insert or leave out letters, such as could-cold or star-stair.

      they may say a word that has the same letters, but in a different sequence, such as who-how, lots-lost, saw-was, or girl-grill.

  • when reading aloud, reads in a slow, choppy cadence (not in smooth phrases), and often ignores punctuation
  • becomes visibly tired after reading for only a short time
  • reading comprehension may be low due to spending so much energy trying to figure out the words. Listening comprehension is usually significantly higher than reading comprehension.
  • directionality confusion shows up when reading and when writing

      b-d confusion is a classic warning sign. One points to the left, the other points to the right, and they are left-right confused.

      b-p, n-u, or m-w confusion. One points up, the other points down. That's also directionality confusion.

  • Substitutes similar-looking words, even if it changes the meaning of the sentence, such as sunrise for surprise, house for horse, while for white, wanting for walking
  • When reading a story or a sentence, substitutes a word that means the same thing but doesn't look at all similar, such as trip for journey, fast for speed, or cry for weep
  • Misreads, omits, or even adds small function words, such as an, a, from, the, to, were, are, of
  • Omits or changes suffixes, saying need for needed, talks for talking, or late for lately.


  • Their spelling is far worse than their reading. They sometimes flunk inventive spelling. They have extreme difficulty with vowel sounds, and often leave them out.
  • With enormous effort, they may be able to "memorize" Monday's spelling list long enough to pass Friday's spelling test, but they can't spell those very same words two hours later when writing those words in sentences.
  • Continually misspells high frequency sight words (nonphonetic but very common words) such as they, what, where, does and because—despite extensive practice.
  • Misspells even when copying something from the board or from a book.
  • Written work shows signs of spelling uncertainty--numerous erasures, cross outs, etc.

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Also known as a visual-motor integration problem, people with dyslexia often have poor, nearly illegible handwriting. Signs of dysgraphia include:

  • Unusual pencil grip, often with the thumb on top of the fingers (a "fist grip")
  • Young children will often put their head down on the desk to watch the tip of the pencil as they write
  • The pencil is gripped so tightly that the child's hand cramps. The child will frequently put the pencil down and shake out his/her hand.
  • Writing is a slow, labored, non-automatic chore.
  • Child writes letters with unusual starting and ending points.
  • Child has great difficulty getting letters to "sit" on the horizontal lines.
  • Copying off of the board is slow, painful, and tedious. Child looks up and visually "grabs" just one or two letters at a time, repeatedly subvocalizes the names of those letters, then stares intensely at their paper when writing those one or two letters. This process is repeated over and over. Child frequently loses his/her place when copying, misspells when copying, and doesn't always match capitalization or punctuation when copying—even though the child can read what was on the board.
  • Unusual spatial organization of the page. Words may be widely spaced or tightly pushed together. Margins are often ignored.
  • Child has an unusually difficult time learning cursive writing, and shows chronic confusion about similarly-formed cursive letters such as f and b, m and n, w and u. They will also difficulty remembering how to form capital cursive letters.

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Quality of Written Work

People with dyslexia usually have an "impoverished written product." That means there is a huge difference between their ability to tell you something and their ability to write it down. They tend to:

  • avoid writing whenever possible
  • write everything as one very long sentence
  • not understand that a sentence has to start with a capital letter and end with punctuation
  • be confused about what is a complete sentence versus a fragment
  • misspell many words—even though they often use only very simple one-syllable words that they are "sure" they know how to spell
  • take an unusually long time to write, due to dysgraphia
  • have nearly illegible handwriting, due to dysgraphia
  • use space poorly on the page; odd spacing between words, may ignore margins, sentences tightly packed into one section of the page instead of being evenly spread out
  • do not notice their errors when "proofreading." They will read back what they wanted to say, not what is actually on the page.

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Most dyslexic children and adults have significant directionality confusion.

  • Left-Right confusion:
    • Even adults have to use whatever tricks their mother or teacher taught them to tell left from right. It never becomes rapid and automatic.
    • A common saying in household with dyslexic people is, "It's on the left. The other left."
    • That's why they are b-d confused. One points to the left and one points to the right.
    • They will often start math problems on the wrong side, or want to carry a number the wrong way.
  • Up-Down confusion:
    • Some children with dyslexia are also up-down confused. They confuse b-p or d-q, n-u, and m-w.
  • Confusion about directionality words:
    • First-last, before-after, next-previous, over-under
    • Yesterday-tomorrow (directionality in time)
  • North, South, East, West confusion:
    • Adults with dyslexia get lost a lot when driving around, even in cities where they've lived for many years
  • Often have difficulty reading or understanding maps.

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Sequencing steps in a task

Learning any task that has a series of steps which must be completed in a specific order can be difficult. That's because you must memorize the sequence of steps, and often, there is no logic in the sequence.

These tasks are usually challenging for people with dyslexia:

  • Tying shoelaces: this task not only has a series of steps, but many steps have directionality as part of them. Many children do not master this task until they're teenagers.
  • Printing letters: the reason they form letters with such unusual beginning and ending points is that they can't remember the sequence of pencil strokes necessary to form that letter. So they start somewhere and then keep going until the letter looks approximately right.
  • Doing long division: to successfully complete a long division problem, you must do a series of five steps, in exactly the right sequence, over and over again.

    They will often know how to do every step in the sequence, but if they get the steps out of sequence, they'll end up with the wrong answer.
  • Touch typing: learning to touch type is an essential skill for people with dysgraphia. But it is usually more difficult (and requires much more effort) for a dyslexic child to learn to type. Not only are the keys on the keyboard laid out in a random order (which requires rote memorization).

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Rote memory of non-meaningful facts

Memorizing non-meaningful facts (facts that are not personally interesting and personally relevant) is extremely difficult for most dyslexic children and adults. In school, this leads to difficulty learning:

  • Multiplication tables
  • Days of the week or months of the year in order
  • Science facts: water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, etc.
  • History facts: dates, names, and places. Dyslexic students do well in history classes that emphasize why some event happened, and the consequences of that event, rather than rote memorization of dates and names.

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Telling time on a clock with hands

People with dyslexia have extreme difficulty telling time on a clock with hands:

  • When asked what time it, they may say something ridiculous, such as, "It's ten past quarter to."
  • They may be able to tell whole hours and half hours (5:00, 5:30, etc.) but not smaller chunks, such as 5:12.
  • Concepts such as before and after on a clock are confusing.
    • Therefore, time arithmetic is impossible.
  • Getting them a digital clock only helps a little bit.
    • Now they can tell what time it is at the moment, but if you tell them to be home in 15 minutes, they can't figure out when that would be.

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Extremely messy bedrooms

People with dyslexia have an extremely difficult time organizing their belongings. They tend to pile things rather than to organize them and put them away. It is almost as though if they can't see the item (if it is behind a door or in a drawer), they will forget where it is.

So they have extremely messy bedrooms, lockers, desks, backpacks, purses, offices, and garages.

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Math Difficulties

People with dyslexia are often gifted in math. Their three-dimensional visualization skills help them "see" math concepts more quickly and clearly than non-dyslexic people. Unfortunately, difficulties in directionality, rote memorization, reading, and sequencing can make the following math tasks so difficult that their math gifts are never discovered.

  • Memorizing addition and subtraction facts
  • Memorizing multiplication tables
  • Remembering the sequence of steps in long division
  • Reading word problems
  • Copying an answer from one spot to a different spot
  • Starting a math problem on the wrong side
  • Showing their work
    • They often "see" math in their head, so showing their work is almost impossible.
  • Doing math rapidly
  • They often excel at higher levels of math, such as algebra, geometry, and calculus—if they have a teacher who works around the math problems caused by their dyslexia.

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Co-existing Conditions

Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without Hyperactivity)
Attention Deficit Disorder is a completely separate condition than dyslexia. However, research has shown that at least 40% of people with dyslexia also have AD/HD.

Light Sensitivity (Scotopic Sensitivity)
A small percentage (3% to 8%) of people with dyslexia also have light sensitivity (sometimes called scotopic sensitivity). These people have a hard time seeing small black print on white paper. The print seems to shimmer or move; some see the rivers of white more strongly than the black words. These people tend to dislike florescent lighting, and often "shade" the page with their hand or head when they read.

Colored plastic overlays and/or colored lenses can eliminate the harsh black print against white paper contrast, and may make letters stand still for the first time in someone's life. However, the plastic overlays or colored lenses will not "cure" dyslexia, nor will they teach a dyslexic person how to read.

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Significant Strengths of people with dyslexia

Although their unique brain architecture and "unusual wiring" make reading, writing, and spelling difficult, most people with dyslexia have gifts in areas controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain. The right side controls:
  • artistic skill
  • athletic ability
  • musical ability
  • mechanical ability
  • people skills
  • 3-D visual-spatial skills
  • vivid imagination
  • intuition
  • creative, global thinking
  • curiosity

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Good careers for people with dyslexia

You'll find people with dyslexia in every field. However, many excel and become "super stars" in the following fields:
  • architecture
  • interior or exterior design
  • psychology
  • teaching
  • marketing and sales
  • culinary arts
  • woodworking
  • carpentry
  • performing arts

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  • athletics
  • music
  • scientific research
  • engineering
  • computers
  • electronics
  • mechanics
  • graphic arts
  • photography

Famous Dyslexics

Famous Dyslexics: What they remember

The following people had either dyslexia, ADHD, or both. These people succeeded BECAUSE of their dyslexic gifts, not despite their dyslexia.

The starting list was created by the Kitty Petty Institute, but it has been added to for years. If you have an addition to this list, please e-mail it to Susan@BrightSolutions.US .

Actors or Entertainment Industry Figures:
Henry Winkler (The Fonz)
Tom Cruise
Whoopi Goldberg
Danny Glover
Harry Anderson
Daniel Stern
Bill Cosby's brother and son
Steven Spielberg
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Dustin Hoffman
Steve McQueen
Jack Nicholson
Tom Smothers
Suzanne Somers
Sylvester Stallone
Robin Williams
Lindsay Wagner
George C. Scott
George Burns
Anthony Hopkins
Bob Jimenez (TV anchorman)
Tracey Gold
Steven J. Cannell
Jay Leno
Woody Harrelson
Jamie Oliver, "The Naked Chef"
Brian Grazer, producer of "A Beautiful Mind"
Edward James Olmos
Tracey Gold, "Growing Pains"
Walt Disney
Quentin Tarantino
Lara Flynn Boyle
Keira Knightley
Dom Delouise
Dave Foley
Bruce McCulloch
Patrick Dempsey
Orlando Bloom
Tim Conway
Anderson Cooper

Magic Johnson
Greg Louganis (Olympic diver)
Bruce Jenner
Jackie Stewart, inducted into the Grand Prix Hall of Fame
Dexter Manley, former NFL player
Carl Lewis
Pete Rose
Nolan Ryan
Billy Blanks, Captain of 1980 U.S. Olympic Karate Team, Creator of Tae-Bo
Terry Bradshaw
Rulon Gardner, Gold Medal Winner in Greco-Roman wrestling, 2000 Summer Olympics
Adam Heidt, Luge competitor
Jim Shea, Jr., Gold Medal Winner in Skeleton, 2002 Winter Olympics
Stan Wattles, Indy race car driver
Mohammad Ali, boxer
Ellie Hawkins, rock climber
Eric Wynalda, professional soccer player
Neil Smith, NFL
Don Coryell, San Diego football coach (NFL & NCAA)
Duncan Goodhew, Swimmer
Bob Anderson, coach of Olympic wrestling team

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of UK
Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt
Woodrow Wilson, president of US
John F. Kennedy, president of US
Andrew Jackson, president of US
Franklin Roosevelt,
president of US
Nelson Rockefeller, vice president of US
Thomas Kean, governor of NJ
Gaston Caperton, governor of WV
John Hickenlooper, governor of CO
Dannel Malloy, governor of CT
Pete Shumlin, governor of VT
Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of CA
Frank Dunkle, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Robert Kennedy, senator
Luci Baines Johnson Nugent, daughter of US Pres. Johnson
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy
James Carville, Political Analyst

General George Patton
Dwight D. Eisenhower
General Westmoreland
Napoleon Bonaparte

Leonardo da Vinci
Gustave Flaubert
Robert Rauschenberg
Chuck Close, artist (photorealist portraits)
Margaret Whittington
Allison Merriweather
Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert comic strip)
Charles Schulz (creator of Peanuts comic strip)
Ansel Adams
Robert "Bob" Fowler, Sculptor & jewelry maker
Robert Toth
P. Buckley Moss
Pablo Picasso
Vincent Van Gogh

Richard Rogers - won Pritzker Prize

Landscape Design:
Fredrick Law Olmsted: designed Central Park in New York City and Chicago's Grant Park

Furniture Design:
Mark Wilkinson, kitchen & furniture designer
Martha Sturdy, Designer

Auto Design:
Frank Saucedo, GM

Harry Belafonte
John Lennon
Aimee Osbourne (Ozzie's eldest)
Tony Bennett

Science & Medicine:
Thomas Edison
Michael Faraday
James Clerk Maxwell
Nicolai Tesla
Albert Einstein
Alexander Graham Bell
The Wright Brothers
Benjamin Franklin
Henry Ford
Steven Hawkings
Louis Pasteur
Tom Francis (AIDS researcher)
Jack Horner (paleontologist)
Baruj Benacerraf, MD (winner of the Nobel prize in Physiology)
Charles "Pete" Conrad (astronaut)
Dr. Fred Epstein, Brain Surgeon
Dr. Edward Hollowell (ADD Specialist)
Dr. Larry Silvers (ADD Specialist)
Paul MacCready, "Engineer of the Century", invented "Gossamer Condor"
Dr. Harvey Cushing, Father of Modern Brain Surgery
Charles Darwin
William Spicer
Dr. Delphos Cogrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Writers and Poets:
William Butler Yeats
Agatha Christie
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Hans Christian Anderson
Richard Cohen, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post
Marc Flanagan, TV writer and producer
Elizabeth D. Squire
Edgar Allen Poe
Thomas Thoreau
Jules Verne
John Irving
Elizabeth Daniels Squire
Robert Scheer
Fanny Flagg, wrote "Fried Green Tomatoes"
Richard Ford, wrote "Independence Day"
Patricia Polacco, Author and Illustrator of children's books
Norla Chee, Native American Poet
Victor Villasenor, Mexican-American Writer
Debbie Macomber, Novelist
John Schumacher, Cookbook Author and Chef
Mark Twain
John Grisham

Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders:
Charles Schwab
Bill Hewlett, co-founder of HP
Richard C. Strauss, real-estate financier
Mark Torrance, CEO, Musak Corporation
Malcolm Goodridge III, senior vice president, American Express
William Doyle, chairman, William Doyle Auction Galleries of New York
Paul J. Orfalea, founder and chairman, Kinko's copy shops
G. Chris Anderson, vice-chairman of PaineWebber
Weyerhauser family
William Wrigley, Jr.
Russell Varian
Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular)
Fred Friendly (former CBS News president)
David Murdock, CEO, Dole Foods
John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Corporation (Airline, Records)
Diane Swonk, Bank One
Tommy Hilfiger, Fashion Designer
Donald Winkler, CEO of Ford Motor Credit
Horst Rechelbacher, Founder of Aveda Corporation
Tommy Spaulding, CEO of Up With People
Jo Malone, CEO of Jo Malone Fragrances of London

Benjamin Franklin
Ann Bancroft, arctic explorer
Roger W. Wilkins, scholar and head of the Pulitzer Prize Board
Hugh Newell Jacobsen, famous architect, winner of 90 different awards for design, including 20 Architectural Record Awards for the best house design of the year.
Son of former U.S. President, George H.W. Bush
Prince Charles
Erin Brockovich, Enviromental Activist
Dexter Scott King, son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. & President & CEO of The King Center in Atlanta, GA
Peter W.D. Wright, Special Education Attorney

Click here for more

Click here for even more

Posters of Famous Dyslexic

Brand New: a set of posters of famous people with dyslexia and/or ADD that teachers or parents can display on their walls.

To view this brand-new set of posters, go to:

To view their poster of famous people with only dyslexia, go to:
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Articles on and by Famous Dyslexics

Patrick Dempsey, of Grey's Anatomy
Excerpt of an article published on the
USA Weekend website
by Michele Hatty

"Dyslexia really hurt me during auditions. There was a 10-year period where I had to memorize pages of dialogue and invest so much of my time and energy into every audition, going in knowing I wouldn't get it anyway," Patrick Dempsey says with a trace of bitterness.
Grey's creator, Shonda Rhimes, admits Dempsey's dyslexia threw her at first, particularly at the first few "table readings" -- meetings when the cast gathers to read fresh scripts aloud. "I did not know about Patrick's dyslexia in the beginning," she says. "I actually thought that he didn't like the scripts from the way he approached the readings."
"When I found out, I completely understood his hesitation. Now that we all know, if he is struggling with a word, the other actors are quick to step up and help him out. Everyone is very respectful."
To read the entire interview, go to:


Dan Malloy
running for governor of Connecticut
Excerpt of an article on the website
by Susan Haigh

When Dan Malloy accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for governor at this month's state convention, he mentioned how proud his mother would have been had she lived to see that moment.
As a child, Malloy struggled to read, calculate math problems, and even tie his shoes. He suffered from dyslexia at a time when the term "learning disabilities" was uncommon.
As late as fourth grade, Malloy's teachers thought he was mentally retarded.
He recalls how one teacher posted his failing spelling grades on the chalkboard.
Malloy, 50, and mayor of Stamford, said "People from my childhood would not have predicted the level of success I've been able to accomplish."
To read the entire interview, go to:


Barbara Corcoran
Jersey girl trumped Trump with street smarts
excerpt from an article on the website
by Jay MacDonald

As a girl growing up in New Jersey, Barbara Corcoran would gaze across the Hudson River at the Manhattan skyline, not knowing that one day, she would reign as queen of New York residential real estate.
After all, she was hardly a born deal maker. Severe dyslexia earned her nothing more than straight D's in school and dire warnings from the nuns.
But what she could not accomplish in school, she made up for with a winning personality and a way with people.
To read the entire interview, go to:


Jack Horner
excerpt of this article
Jack Horner: An Intellectual Autobiography
published on the LD OnLine website

"I suffered from a lack of confidence due to dyslexia. I wasn't diagnosed until well after I had reached adulthood, had struggled through school being considered lazy, dumb, and perhaps even retarded, and had flunked out of college seven times. Most people expected I'd wind up working at a service station, or if I was really lucky, I might get to drive a truck at my father's gravel plant.
"Kindergarten through eighth grade was extremely difficult for me because my progress in reading, writing, and mathematics was excruciatingly slow. I would never read out loud in class, even if the teachers threatened to give me failing grades. The joke was that I only carried schoolbooks to ballast my lanky body against the strong winds of Montana. Eventually, I managed to graduate from high school, but just barely, having received Ds in all required classes, including English, in which my grade was a D minus, minus, minus. The teacher told me that this was essentially an F, but that he never wanted to see me again.
"There was, however, one area of school besides P.E. in which I excelled: science projects."
Jack Horner became one of the most well known paleontologists in the world. He has discovered the most dinosaur eggs, the first dinosaur embryos, and three species of dinosaurs. Although he never graduated from college, Jack received the MacArthur Foundation Award (called the "Genius Award"), several honorary doctorate degrees, and served as technical advisor for all of the Jurassic Park films.
To read the entire article, go to:
Jackie Stewart
excerpt of an article by
David Leafe
published on the website

Reclining in the comfort of an executive limousine and looking every inch the motor-racing legend and multimillionaire businessman that he is, Sir Jackie Stewart shared that his parents were baffled by his poor performance at school. He remembers with horror one occasion when, as a little boy, he was asked to read in front of the class.
"All I could see as I looked at the book was a jungle: a whole clutter of words. My teacher, Miss Shaw, was telling me to get on with it, but I was blushing and couldn't swallow.
"All around me, the other children were sniggering, or pretending to blow their noses to hide their laughter."
Describing school as "the most painful and humiliating period of my life," he recalls his desire to leave school at the age of 15.
"When you are being called thick, dumb and stupid, you end up leaning towards others who are like you, who won't humiliate and abuse you. Unfortunately, I ended up in a very bad crowd."
It was not until he was 42, and one of his sons was diagnosed with dyslexia, that he discovered, "I wasn't stupid after all. I felt like I had been saved from drowning." To read the entire article, go to:
Sarah Entine
excerpt of an article about
Sarah Entine
published on the website

Sara Entine, a talented independent filmmaker, has created a film that tells the story of her family, whose complicated relationships stem from misunderstandings due to unidentified dyslexia and AD/HD. It is the story of a mother, daughter, and granddaughter who long to feel seen, accepted, and loved for who they are.
Watch a 10-minute trailer, free, on her website. Just go to and click on the gray movie camera in the lower right-hand corner.
When asked for a password, type in: rmd_trailer
You will then want to see the entire movie to find out how it ends. But Sarah needs donations in order to finish this important film on dyslexia.
Donations can be made by going to:

Masters Champion
From an article on
by Associated Press

George Archer, the former Masters champion who died in September, kept a lifelong secret that his widow recently revealed in Golf for Women magazine.
He was illiterate.
"Despite years of effort, he never learned to read beyond a rudimentary level. He never could write more than a few crude sentences," Donna Archer wrote in the article, The Secret They Shared.
"Eventually, he was able to get through an article on the sports page, and he learned to write his name for autographs," she wrote, "But that was it."
"Over the years, George became incredibly adept at covering up his disability. But he was always afraid fans would want him to personalize an autograph, or that he'd have to read some prepared sentences on television."
Olympic Swimmer
From an article on the Belfast Telegraph website
by David Kelly

When Duncan Goodhew won the 100 meter breaststroke gold medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, he knew his life would never be the same. He said, "For me, the whole process of swimming was to change the deck of cards, because dyslexia is incredibly corrosive to your spirit.
"At the age of seven, I was asked to read out loud in class. I was laughed at because I was struggling. I was fidgeting so much that I was literally tied to a chair and put in a corner with the dunce's hat on.
"There was a lack of understanding then -- and it's still happening.
"Dyslexia is like being in a job you're not qualified for, and you don't speak the language. You're sitting there being told you are stupid all day, every day.
"School gave me a fundamental understanding of what I was not good at. It gave me an acute desire to find something, a life preserver, and I found swimming."


Richard Rogers, architect behind Pompidou Center, wins Pritzker

excerpt of an article by
Robin Pogrebin, International Herald Tribune
published on

Three decades after his Pompidou Center in Paris turned the architecture world upside down and brought him global fame, the British architect Richard Rogers has been named the 2007 winner of the Pritzker Prize, the profession's highest honor.

The award -- a $ 100,000 grant and a bronze medallion -- is to be presented to Rogers on June 4 at the Banqueting House in London.

Other high profile projects by Rogers include the sprawling Millennium Dome in Greenwich, England; the new terminal at Barajas International Airport in Madrid; and Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport.

Yet when his family moved to England in 1938, Richard struggled through the public school system. It was not until many years later that he received a diagnosis of dyslexia.

"I was called backwards," Rogers said. "We didn't know about dyslexia."

To read the entire article, go to:


Seasoned Chef Still Perfecting His Recipe For Success

excerpt of an article by
Linda Broatch
published on

As the sous chef at a five-star hotel in Florida, Jeremy Emerson once faced a situation so terrifying that he briefly imagined abandoning the career he loved. What pushed this accomplished man to the edge? He was asked, without warning, to read aloud during a meeting of the hotel's 30-plus department heads.

Jeremy has dyslexia. And he did what many dyslexic adults do in such situations, no matter how confident they usually are -- he panicked.

Raised in England in the 1970's and 80's, Jeremy spent his elementary and secondary school years struggling to learn, not aware that he had dyslexia. Picking up on cues from the adults around him, he assumed that he must be lazy or stupid.

Dyslexia runs in families, and both of Jeremy's brothers are dyslexic. Jeremy's older brother, Julian, had been "asked to leave school." Yet he is now a software engineer for Intel.

Jeremy has been the Executive Chef at San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel since 2003, where he manages a staff of 50.

To read the entire article, go to:

A Judge's Story

excerpt of an article by
Jeffrey H. Gallet
published on

Everyone at school said that I was lazy or stupid or both. After a while, I began to believe them. Sometimes, I just gave up. I couldn't write, spell, or read, or answer questions quickly. I didn't even know which hand to put over my heart when we recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

My mother was a trained teacher, but even she did not understand dyslexia. The term was almost unknown when I was a child. But my parents never gave up on me, although it must have been a great disappointment to those two scholarly people that their first born could barely graduate from high school.

They encouraged me to go to college and I did, graduating last in my class.

I wanted to go to law school, and Brooklyn Law School took a chance on me. I was lucky to have loving parents, as well as a college professor and a law school roommate who supported me, encouraged me, tutored me, and refused to let me fall victim to my frustrations and give up. I graduated in the middle of my class.

I wasn't diagnosed with a learning disability until I was 35. By the age of 37, I was a judge.

Having failed English courses in both high school and college, I finally learned how to write. But today, with 5 books and over 30 articles to my credit, I still suffer from an irrational fear that I am about to make a fool of myself every time I sit down to write.

I agreed to write this article, after first refusing, because as a judge, almost every week I see a learning disabled child who, undiagnosed or untreated, is venting his or her frustrations in anti-social ways. I could have stood in that same spot. If not for loving, caring, involved parents, my frustrations at not being able to keep up in class, and to some extent in the play yard, could have burst forth in the same self-destructive way.

The schools and the courts have not met their responsibilities to LD children. They have not allocated the resources to do what must be done.

To read the entire article, which includes Judge Gallet's attempts to improve the judicial system, go to:


Steven Cannell,
Emmy award-winning writer and TV show producer

Steven Cannell overcame severe dyslexia to become one of television's most prolific writers. He has created more than 40 shows, of which he has scripted more than 450 episodes. His hits include The Rockford Files, Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Hunter, Riptide, Hardcastle & McCormick, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, The Commish, Profit, and the hit syndicated shows, Renegade and Silk Stalkings.

He shares:

I was 35 years old when I found out that I was dyslexic. My daughter, who is now 30, was being thrown out of the sixth grade at her private school. I met with the head of the school and he said: "She may not be up to what we're trying to accomplish." What he was really saying was that she didn't have the intelligence.

I got really mad because I knew from talking to my daughter that she was smart, just as my father had known that I was smart when I was failing in school. We had her tested and all of the things that were going on with her were the same things that had been going on with me. I decided to get tested as well. The results showed she is dyslexic, and so am I.

By the time I got to college I had come to realize that I couldn't spell, no matter how hard I tried. So at the University of Oregon, I would sign up for extra courses. I'd be in registration lines all day. Then I would go around the first day of class and ask each professor: "What's your policy on misspelling?"

If the professor said: "This is history. Let your English department worry about spelling," I'd keep the course. If he said, "Three misspellings is a flunk," I'd drop it.

Steven Cannell is an avid spokesperson on dyslexia. In an inspiring video series, he explains what dyslexia is, recalls his experiences, and provides advice. To watch his videos, go to:

Dr. Maggie Aderin, Scientist with NASA and the European Space Agency

excerpt of an article by Trudy Simpson entitled
Seeing Stars
published August 1, 2007, on

Dr. Maggie Aderin, who holds a Bachelors degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, has built telescopes, has helped create instruments to test missile warning systems and detect landmines, as well as satellites that monitor climate change.

Yet her teachers dismissed her when she declared she wanted to study science because she had dyslexia. She shared:

I was not considered very bright because I had dyslexia. When I first told my teachers I wanted to study science, they shook their heads and said I should consider something else.

But I received encouragement at home. My father always said if you work hard, you can achieve so much. So I pushed myself. Although I suffered from dyslexia, I was quite logical, and I really loved science because I loved being hands on.

When people realized I was good at science, I got lots of tuition and encouragement.

In her first year at Imperial College in London, she was one of only two black people, and one of only ten women, in her class of 200.

Scientists have a good life. The work is hard, the pay is good, and it can be fun. Her company, Science Innovation Limited, has a program to get the public engaged in science, especially girls and minorities.

She'll also appear in two of the BBC's upcoming six-part science series, "The Cosmos: A Beginner's Guide."

To read the rest of her story, go to:

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems

excerpt of an article by Brian Womack entitled
Chambers Has Cisco In Gear
published June 28, 2007, on

John Chambers leads one of the largest high tech firms in the world -- networking gear maker Cisco Systems -- but the West Virginia native could not keep up with classmates as an elementary student.

Chambers suffered from dyslexia, crippling his reading abilities and damaging his confidence.

"There's nothing harder on you than when people come around the classroom in first, second, and third grade and call on you. Your stomach tightens up; you know you'll mess up the reading," he told IBD.

Chambers says dyslexia is especially frustrating because more effort couldn't fix the problem."My parents would sit and read with me in the evening, and it would get worse, not better," he said.

Eventually his parents found expert help. The process did more than help him read more easily.

"Once you understand that you can overcome something that you doubted you would ever overcome, you gain more inner confidence. It helped me learn to deal with the challenges in life."

To read the rest of his story, go to:


Tracing Business Success to Dyslexia
excerpt of an article by Brent Bowers
published December 6, 2007
in The New York Times

It has long been known that dyslexics are drawn to running their own businesses, where they can get around their weaknesses in reading and writing and play on their strengths. But a new study of entrepreneurs in the United States suggests that dyslexia is much more common among small-business owners than even the experts had thought.
The report, compiled by Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a third of the entrepreneurs she surveyed identified themselves as dyslexic.
"We found that dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills," said Professor Logan. "If you tell your friends that you plan to start a business, you'll hear over and over, 'It won't work. It can't be done.' But dyslexics are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems."
To read the entire article, go to:

Dyslexic Wins 2007 Young Engineer Award
excerpt of an article by Joseph Watts
published October 1, 2007
in The Nottingham Evening Post

He may be too young to drive, but that has not stopped Edward Wilson from winning a top prize for a road-safety invention.
The 16-year-old's innovative brake light system shows how quickly a car is slowing, and it won Edward the Design and Innovation Trophy at the 2007 Young Engineer for Britain awards.
Edward's device, called SlowSafe, warns a driver that the car ahead of them is slowing without the person in the car in front putting their foot on the brake. This patent-pending invention should reduce accidents and traffic jams. Edward will be giving presentations to car manufacturers for the next few months, trying to persuade them to use SlowSafe.
His mother, Serena Wilson, shared that her son's achievement was all the more impressive because he also had to deal with dyslexia.
"I'm so proud of him. He even wrote his own computer program, and no one taught him how to do that. He learned it himself," she said.
"At times, his dyslexia made things hard, but he persevered."
To read the entire article, go to:

Professor and NIH Researcher
excerpt of an article by Stephanie Hayes
published November 3, 2007
in the St. Petersburg Times

He was the kid with the butterfly net. The one who could repair the class projector.
He was the student with the dry sense of humor. You'd miss his jokes if you weren't listening.
He had trouble reading. He couldn't spell. Instead of writing things down, he kept information in his head.
He was the dad with the cool job.
After getting his Ph.D. he researched human temperature regulation at the National Institutes of Health. He worked on NASA space suits. He studied cystic fibrosis and obesity.
At home, there was usually a microscope on the dinner table.
His son Karl had trouble reading in first grade. An expert diagnosed Karl as dyslexic.
"You may be explaining my son," Dr. Thompson said, "but you also just explained me."
To read the entire article, go to:

Olympic Fencer
excerpt of an article by Sally Kerans
published September 27, 2007
in the Danvers Herald

Olympic fencer Molly Sliney spent the day at Highlands School last Friday.
The athlete, coach and motivational speaker shared not only her fencing expertise, but also her struggle with dyslexia, telling students that she is proof that anyone can set goals and achieve them if they learn to believe in themselves.
Her many accomplishments in sports are impressive:
*  She was the youngest person ever to qualify for the Junior World Competition at age 13, just 3 years after her first lesson.
*  In addition to her 2 Olympic berths, in 1988 and 1992, she also earned a Gold medal in the U.S. Pan American Women's Fall Competitions twice.
*  She was a 4-time NCAA team champion
*  She was named Notre Dame's Female Athlete of the Decade
Yet her proudest accomplishment was receiving her degree from Notre Dame.
Not bad for a kid who couldn't read until the age of 9.
She still remembers the spelling bee in 4th grade. She studied her spelling words every night. Her teacher gave her "the easiest word on the list" to spell. She got it wrong. Some of her classmates laughed. She returned to her seat, frustrated and stung by their taunts of "dumb" and "stupid."
"Boys and girls, when people say bad things about you," she said, "you have two choices. You can ignore them or you can believe them. That day in 4th grade, I made the wrong choice. I decided to believe that I was dumb and stupid."
To learn how she turned her life around, read the entire article by going to:


It is never too late:
a man in his 70's triumphs over dyslexia

excerpt of an article by Edward Hall
published December 30, 2007
in The Treasure Coast Palm newspaper

Recently, I read a book for the first time. That may not seem like much. But for a man in his 70's, this meant the world to me. I spent decades living in shame and fear of being "found out." I refused countless promotions just so my co-workers would not learn I could not read.

Once, I wanted to send my wife a birthday card. I picked out the most beautiful card I could find. My wife told me I had actually given her a sympathy card.

My issue with reading stems from dyslexia. Historically, students with dyslexia have been ignored, labeled "dumb," put in the back of the room and left alone. That was my fate.

The reality is that those with dyslexia are bright and eager to learn.

A volunteer tutor in an adult literacy program taught Mr. Hall to read.

To read the rest of this story, go to:

Going to college at 45

excerpt of an article by Krista B. Ledbetter
published December 10, 2006
in the Oshkosh Northwestern

Tina Krueger, 45, spent nearly 20 years working in the OshKosh B'Gosh factory before her department shut down in 2004. Left without a job, she made the decision to return to school. But one hurdle stood in her way -- Krueger has dyslexia.

Krueger says she has moderate to severe dyslexia which made schooling difficult for as long as she can remember.

"I did okay, I got by," she remembered. "But I don't know how I got by. My teachers probably could not read my papers. I look at them now and wonder, "What was I trying to say?""

It took a leap of faith for her to enroll in FVTC. "It was a difficult two years," admitted Kruger, who attended full-time. On Saturday, she graduated with an AA degree in Marketing and a 3.9 grade point average.

She doesn't plan to leave it at that. She plans to earn her Bachelor's degree.

"It's never too late. The desire to learn will always be there. There are so many people out there willing to help. You are not doing it alone."

To read the entire article, go to:

Show, don't tell: a CEO defies dyslexia

excerpt of an article by Terri Bowersock
published April 2, 2008
in Fortune magazine

With a $2,000 loan from my mother, I have grown my Tempe-based firm, Terri's Consign & Design Furnishings, into the largest U.S. resale furniture retailer, with 16 stores and $36 million in annual sales. And I've done it despite my dyslexia.

I wasn't always open about my dyslexia. Because I was teased in school, I became a master at "fake it until you make it." In meetings, I'd pretend I could read the papers being passed out.

People ask if I attribute my success to overcoming dyslexia. I tell them that I have not, and never will, overcome dyslexia. Yes, I run a national company, but I still use a Franklin Talking Dictionary to try to spell fifth-grade vocabulary words.

But at least I've shown my grade school teachers that it is not that I wasn't trying hard enough.

To read the entire article, and the many tools Terri uses to compensate, go to:

Tony Bennett

Even after a lifetime of hits, Tony Bennett still struggles with reading sheet music. "My eyes bounce, so it's difficult for me to follow music that way. I have to do it instinctively and intuitively." Bennett says that coping with dyslexia has been an ongoing struggle throughout his career.

To read his story, go to:

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is an Emmy Award winning American journalist, author, and the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360. He recently revealed his dyslexia while on Oprah.

To read his story, go to:

Tim Conway

Known for making America laugh on the Carol Burnett Show, McHale's Navy, Dorf videos and more, Tim Conway traces his handiness with a hammer to a high school shop class, one of his favorite subjects because childhood dyslexia made it difficult for him to read.

"People thought that I was kidding when I would read out loud in school, so they started laughing," he recalls. "For instance, the book They Were Expendable, I read as They Were Expandable." The students were going, "This guy is great."

To read his story, go to:

Best-selling author struggled in school
excerpt of an article
published April 23, 2008

Debbie Macomber has written more than 100 books. She has sold more than 60 million books worldwide, and is a New York Times bestselling author. Not bad for someone who couldn't read until she was 11.
"I am dyslexic, but they didn't have a word for that when I was a child," says Debbie, who is from Washington State. "I was just considered slow. School was difficult." That is an understatement.
"I was the only girl in the slow reading group," says Debbie, on a visit to Dublin to publicize her latest book. "My teacher said, 'Debbie is a nice girl, but she will never do well at school.' And I didn't."
To read the rest of this story, go to:

Dyslexic Poet wins Pulitzer Prize
excerpt of an article by Deepti Hajela
published April 22, 2008

Rochester, New York, native and poet Philip Schultz is among this year's winners of the Pulitzer Prizes.
In a recent interview with Garrison Keillor, Schultz said he was a "terrible student" who suffered from dyslexia. He did not learn to read until he was in the fifth grade.
To read the entire article, go to:

Billionaire Inventor dies at 86
excerpt of an article by Diana Rosenthal
published January 27, 2008

James Sorenson, inventor of the computerized heart monitor and of disposable paper surgical masks, died on Sunday.
Although he was the richest man in Utah when he died, with a fortune estimated at 4.5 billion, he struggled through the Great Depression, and dyslexia, to emerge as one of the century's great inventors.
To read the entire article, go to:


How I hid not being able to read or write
excerpt of an article by Linda Worden
published August 13, 2008

Thinking back to my school days, all I can remember is the pain as I struggled from a young age. Classes were so big that I would just sit quietly at the back, or find any excuse not to be there at all.
My reports were full of the usual lines: "Linda could do better...Linda's lazy," when, in fact, I just kept quiet so no one would notice that I could not do the work. I dropped out at 16.
As an adult, forms filled me with dread.
There were times I would miss something important -- appointments, bills -- because I didn't dare to open the mail.
Yet I could sell myself, coming across as full of confidence, impressing people at face value. What I lost through not being able to read and write, I gained in other ways. People always commented on my smile and cheerful personality.
I have done all sorts of jobs -- including factory work and restaurant work -- but the minute I received any sort of promotion that would have revealed my weaknesses, I'd leave.
To read the entire article, go to:

Talent as an actor
excerpt of an article by Jamie Portman
published August 16, 2008

When Luke Ford was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child in Australia, the last thing he expected was that it would launch him into an acting career and pave the way for a major role in a big Hollywood film like The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
He was told one of the best ways of dealing with dyslexia was to make his brain work in new areas.
"So I went and tried to be a musician, but that didn't work," he grins. Then he tried to be a painter and discovered he was pretty untalented in that area as well. "So then I thought, 'All right, I'll do this drama class.' They told me I was really good, and I got an A -- but the next thing they did was to drop drama from my high school."
Ford's response to that was to quit school and try to become a professional actor.
To read the entire article, go to:

Dyslexic Dream Foundation
excerpt of an article by Patrick McNamee
published June 6, 2008

Evan Paul started playing video games to escape from the realities of middle school.
Evan, who is dyslexic, recently completed his freshman year at the University of Arizona. He is founder and CEO of the online game-trading site,, valued at $30 million.
"Going through school, I felt like I was a stupid failure," Evan shared. "Slowly but surely, because I did not give up, I eventually began to learn to read and things began to come together for me. It was by no means easy."
Evan would play video games when he came home from school, after a long day of bullying and struggling in class.
"When I was younger, the only people who believed in me were myself and my family."
Last year, he started the Dyslexic Dream Foundation, and he donates 70 to 80 percent of his earnings to fund programs to help students overcome dyslexia.
"The goal of the foundation is to raise awareness, and to educate teachers and schools," he said. "I also set up scholarships because some of the great private schools cost more than some colleges."
To read the entire article, go to:


Christie Craig - from dyslexic to writer extraordinaire

excerpt of an article by Teri Thackson
published February 9, 2009
in the Houston Examiner,

Christie Craig is an award-winning writer, whose zany, humorous tales of romance, suspense, and life at its wackiest is one reason four of her books were accepted for publication on the very same day.

During the interview, the reporter asked about her dyslexia.

Q: How difficult was it for a kid with dyslexia to grow into a successful romance novelist?

A: I seriously believe that I succeeded in this very hard business not in spite of my dyslexia, but in part, because of it.

Nothing came easy to me, and I didn't expect writing to be any different. The most needed tool to make it in this business I already had tucked inside -- perseverance. So what if I got 10,000 rejections? Maybe the next one would not be a rejection.

Also, dyslexics have a knack of being intuitive. We pick up on people's emotions, body language, and tone of voice. So I could easily tap into human emotions, add my imagination, and -- bingo.

To read the entire interview, go to:

To learn more about Christie Craig and her books, go to:

Takanao Todo - architect helps other dyslexics succeed

excerpt of an article by Midori Matsuzawa
published December 10, 2008
on Daily Yomiuri Online,

Since his primary school days, Todo felt his efforts to write kanji were in vain, no matter how hard he tried.

For Todo, kanji are images. When he was in primary school, his mother taught him how to pronounce and guess the meaning of kanji by breaking them into their elements, much the way that foreign students study kanji. He still makes major mistakes when writing in kanji, and often confuses certain hiragana characters.

He describes reading as a sort of visual overload. "It's like all the textual information is coming out to me at once," he explained. "it's so tiring to find my place."

Todo's memories of school life in Japan are bitter. In primary, his teachers did not accept students as they were, but instead, insisted on forcing the "different" students to become "normal." Todo was labeled a difficult student and was treated as such. He became even more frustrated while at boarding school during his middle school years.

"But my mother always accepted me the way I am," he said. "If you can realize, even just once, that someone appreciates who you are, that feeling can last long, give you hope, and eventually the courage to try something."

His mother sent him to Britain for high school, where his relatives had once worked or studied. While there, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. The testing also revealed his strengths, in particular, excellent spatial perception. He studied 3-D modeling and graphic design when he took his A-levels at Cambridge.

In 2002, he matriculated to London's Architectural Association School of Architecture, where he graduated this summer.

After his diagnosis, his mother, Eiko, established a nonprofit organization in Japan called EDGE (Extraordinary Dyslexic Gifted Eclectic) to help those with dyslexia improve their innate strengths further so they can live with self-confidence."

To read the entire article, go to:

Tom Mulcahy - seamless move to jazz music

excerpt of an article by Michelle McDonagh
published December 2, 2008
in the Irish Times,

Tom Mulcahy finds it difficult to put into words the impact that being diagnosed with dyslexia had on him after a lifetime of failing exams and feeling inadequate.

It was not until ten years ago, while he was in college pursing a degree in jazz performance, that he was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. After the nightmare of his school days, the diagnosis came as an enormous relief.

"Everybody thought I was stupid in school. My older siblings were clever in class, but I was regarded as being lazy. There was no help from the teachers in those days."

It is his passion for music, and jazz in particular, that kept him going through the many obstacles he faced.

"I could not have accomplished what I have without having a passion for music and a strong commitment to my goals. As a student, I have had to embrace struggle as a necessary part of my growth."

"Understanding that I wasn't stupid, and that I just learned differently was a long journey that required a lot of reflection, perseverance and hard work. I learned that just the label of dyslexia is not enough to help a struggling learner."

He devised ingenious methods of using technologies such as slow-speed transcribers, digital dictaphones, computers, and iPods to help him in his studies. He now advises others with dyslexia to do the same.

In teaching children with dyslexia, Mulcahy believes the best approach is to focus on their strengths.

To read the entire interview, go to:



Not Ashamed of My Dyslexia

Excerpt from article by Doug Bursch
published October 20, 2010

I don't enjoy reading. Dyslexics lose their desire to read, or they never gain a desire, or they can't seem to maintain a desire to continue along the written page.

Dyslexia is more than erroneous spelling.

Dyslexia is an issue of desire. My mind does not desire the written word. No matter the scolding, the guilt, the prodding or the pushing, my mind does not enjoy reading.

Reading is a race I've never enjoyed running. While others sprinted ahead, I lumbered forward, pausing between words and sentences as if they were high hurdles or steeple chase walls.

As I grew older, I began to tell people the story about how I used to be dyslexic, about how I grew out of my disability. It sounded right to me and it made me feel special, even though it was not true. Dyslexia does not go away. It does not disappear.

I host a daily radio show and a few months back decided it would be nice to do a show on dyslexia, and share how I learned to read and "grow out" of dyslexia. I found a professor from Yale (Sally Shaywitz) who began to describe my life. But she didn't use my name. She used the word dyslexic.

In the middle of our interview, I proudly blurted out, "I'm dyslexic!" I said those words as if I'd won a prize or at least found a place to stand without shame.

To read the entire article, go to:



Teacher with Dyslexia Receives Presidential Award for Excellence
Excerpt from article by Cayla Gales
published December 8, 2010

Shortly after failing third grade, Mark Fairbank found out he had dyslexia. But that did not stop him from becoming an award-winning teacher.
President Obama recently declared Fairbank one of the top science and math teachers in the country. He will receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Even as a third grader, Fairbank knew he wanted to teach chemistry.
"I struggled through my entire career at school. So I went to community college for three years," Fairbank said. "At Sacramento State, I studied from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every single day, including Saturdays and Sundays, so I could make it through."
He received help from his mother, who read textbooks to him, and from his wife and best friend who typed his papers.
To read the entire article, go to:

Business Guru turned TV Presenter
Excerpt from article by the Daily Mail
published May 28, 1020

Fearless on the shop floor and in the boardroom, fragrance tycoon Jo Malone found the transition from business guru to TV presenter terrifying. She nearly gave up.
"It was my dyslexia," Jo admits. "I was terrified that I would make a huge mistake."
The night before filming began, Jo was sick all night long.
The next morning, she told the editor, "I can't do this. I can't read the script."
To find out what happened next, and how this high school dropout became a business guru, read the entire article:

How Spaulding Won A College Scholarship with a 2.0 GPA
Excerpt from article by The Reflector
published October 6, 1020

Former CEO and president of Up With People, the largest non-profit in the world, Tommy Spaulding has become a guru on the topic of leadership. In a luncheon speech to promote his book, he shared how he won a prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to get an MBA -- despite struggling with dyslexia in school.
As an East Carolina University graduate with only a 2.0 GPA, he faced stiff competition for the scholarship from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton graduates with perfect academic records.
His experience with his college roommate who was paralyzed in his freshman year, plus his rejection by 35 law schools, pulled at the heart strings of the committee.
But it was his treatment of the bartender at the hotel where the scholarship committee held interviews that got him the award. The committee was deadlocked between Spaulding and a Harvard graduate when the chairman asked the bartender what he thought.
Spaulding had spent hours talking to the bartender about his life and family, while the other applicants ignored him.
"The committee heard about my heart and passion from the bartender, and they overlooked my grades," he said.
To read the entire article, go to:
Spaulding's book, "It's Not Just Who You Know" which he co-wrote with Ken Blanchard, was released in August.

John Lennon
Excerpt from article by Rafael Scarnati
published December 13, 1020

Growing up, few people expected John Lennon to be any more successful than a pot scrubber or factory worker in Liverpool. Llike many dyslexic children going to school, he was extremely bright yet grossly underestimated.
He couldnt spell, even though he loved to read and write stories. He couldnt memorize the lyrics to other peoples songs, but wrote amazingly creative lyrics himself. Except for his art classes, he got terrible grades.
He was deemed a troublemaker, yet even when he dropped out of high school, his strong people skills and creativity moved his headmaster to make a special recommendation to get him into college.
He was an artist, a storyteller and a poet from a very early age. He was a leader among his peers. His ideas were always ahead of his time.
His is also a story that reveals both the challenges, and the gifts, of dyslexia.
To read the entire article, go to:


The Gift of Learning Differently

By Mackenzie Meyer
2010 Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Winner
Published on

When Mackenzie Meyer was identified with dyslexia, she was told she would not be able to reach her goal of becoming a veterinarian. As a result, she has pursued her dream in full force and is a shining example for any LD student who has been told to lower her expectations.

Here is the beginning of her essay:

President Obama has a nation of educators looking for "it." Steve Jobs of Apple Computer wants to unleash "it." Superpower countries like the US, China and India are in the race of their lives for "it."

As for me . . . well, I already have "it." Actually, I was born with "it." I was born with the gift to create, to invent new ways of doing and being. I am a person who learns differently and therefore, by default, sees differently and will help this planet in ways it has yet to see.

Oh, yeah, I know it sounds like I have it totally together and have long since figured out that having a learning disability is a gift. But in truth, it has been a long journey. Just as it is with anybody who has a disability, you have two choices: you can take the easy way out and accept that you will have a life with limits, or decide that you are going to fight for the life you want to have and are meant to have. I chose to fight.

To read the rest of her inspiring essay, go to:


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