Location: England UK and Philippines
Positions:Parent, Classroom Teacher Boy who could not read
Dyslexia affects one in 10 of us, but many successful celebrities say it’s made them stronger.
Dyslexia seems to be a problem that affects more boys than girls.
Kids who suffer from dyslexia or word blindness as it is sometimes called often have a tough time at school and are sometimes treated as though they’re lazy or just plain stupid.
But don’t worry too much, it’s not the end of the world if your son, brother, nephew or friend is dyslexic, because he is in good company: Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Beethoven, to name but a few, suffered from the same condition, and dyslexia is common among many of the world’s highest achievers today.
These include an English man called Sir Richard Branson, who started his business empire over 30 years ago, selling old records on a market stall, now has a personal fortune of billions of pounds. He admitted in an interview once, “At the age of eight I still couldn’t read. I was being beaten once or twice a week for doing poor class work or confusing the date of the Battle of Hastings.
Hannibal Lector, star Sir Anthony Hopkins had an awful childhood because he was so hopeless at school, but he is now one of Britain’s greatest actors. He says “These days I feel more responsive to other people because I’m not so insecure. I just feel reassured that I wasn’t the moron I thought I was”
Tom Cruise’s acting career provides a phenomenal example of defying the odds by sheer determination. He says: “My childhood was extremely lonely. I was dyslexic and all the other kids made fun of me. That helped to make me tough, because you learn to accept ridicule” For his films he still learns his lines by listening to a tape.
There is a long list of famous people who suffer from dyslexia. The famous Beatle John Lennon had a bad time at school and Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher says his school days were “unbearable” After four decades of music making, Cher is still going strong. But at school it was a very different. Lord Of The Rings star Liv Tyler admits that her dyslexia is so bad she even has trouble reading her own writing.
I have been interested in the problem of dyslexia for many years now, helping children and adults who are victims of the problem, because I am dyslexic myself and I didn’t pass a single exam, leaving school at 15 unable to read very well. I taught myself and was determined to improve myself, eventually as a mature student going to University and getting a degree in theatre arts. I think anyone can do anything if they have the will power and enough self-esteem. So as parents and teachers it is our duty to nurture their will power and encourage their self esteem.