“If you judge a fish by its ‘ability’ to climb a tree, it will spend its entire life believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein
Dyslexia affects people from all backgrounds and of all levels of intelligence. Albert Einstein, one of the greatest thinkers in history, was unable to read or write until aged nine, and he always struggled with remembering months of the year and tying his shoelaces. Yet, he succeeded in solving some of the most complex mathematical problems of his time. In his words,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world”.
So, although people with dyslexia can face many challenges with regards to reading and spelling, it is important to remember that one does not just have to succeed despitehaving dyslexia, but because of it.
“[Dyslexia] wasn’t my deficit, but my advantage. Although there are neurological trade-offs that require that I work creatively [and] smarter in reading, writing and speaking, I would never wish to be any other way than my awesome self. I love being me, regardless of the early challenges I had faced.” – Scott Sonnon, martial arts world champion and author
In fact, the knowledge of having dyslexia can be incredibly empowering and motivating, because it presents an opportunity to think outside the box, using creative and imaginative new ways of thinking, learning and problem-solving.
“It is more common than you can imagine. You are not alone. And while you will have this the rest of your life, you can dart between the raindrops to get where you want to go and it will not hold you back.” – Steven Spielberg, award-winning director
The ability to find what methods suit you best can make these challenges enjoyable and rewarding. Bella Thorne speaks about how she learned to tackle dyslexia, transforming her ‘learning disability’ into an opportunity to learn in a better way:
“I have learned to live with it and make the best of it. I read all the time. When I was diagnosed with dyslexia, I was told to read everything from street signs to cereal boxes, and that my mom shouldn’t read the menu for me. I should read it to her! It has helped a great deal. I am reading well, but it is something I work on every day.” – Bella Thorne, Actress
In this way, having dyslexia can teach a valuable lesson about the importance of patience and enthusiasm. In the words of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone who also was dyslexic,
“it is the man who carefully advances step by step with his mind becoming wider and wider… who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree”.
Having dyslexia means that you might not view or solve problems in the same way others do. This might mean more hard work, but it can also present a load of new opportunities to find what you are really good at, and succeed far more than you ever would have, had you not had dyslexia.
“If I wasn’t dyslexic, I probably wouldn’t have won the Games. If I had been a better reader, then that would have come easily [and] sports would have come easily. And I never would have realized that the way you get ahead in life is hard work.” – Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic Gold Medallist