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Dyslexia is characterized by difficulty with learning to read fluently and with accurate comprehension despite normal or above average intelligence. It is the most common learning difficulty and most recognized reading disorder. There are three subtypes of dyslexia, ‘auditory, visual and attention’. Although dyslexia is the result of a neurological disorder, it is not an intellectual disability and it occurs at all levels of intelligence: average, above average and highly gifted.Have you ever heard of a disability yet it is at several times considered a gift? Yes, dyslexia it is; one of the common yet not known disabilities that have miraculously led to many being outstanding in the society.
Among’st the symptoms of dyslexia are:
- Delay in speech in early childhood
- Letter reversal or mirror writing
- Difficulty knowing right from left and directions
- Easily distracted by noise
- Difficulty identifying rhyming words
- Very poor spellings
- Difficulty in blending sounds into words
Adolescent and adult dyslexics may have trouble with summarizing a story, memorizing, reading aloud and learning a foreign language. Adult dyslexics tend to be slower in reading even when they have good comprehension.
There is no cure for dyslexia but the victims can learn to read and write with appropriate education or treatment. Several special education and therapies approaches have been developed for students with dyslexia. Adaptive technology such as specialized computer software is used. There are controversial treatments such as nutritional supplements, special diets, and homeopathy and osteopathy manipulation.
The most interesting part of this all is that quite a large number of our stars, role models, musicians, artists, actors, scientists, athletes and many more were victims of dyslexia and yet they were able to overcome it and achieved what many non-dyslexic couldn’t. Amongst the famous victims examples that are always going to be remembered are as follows:
Agatha Christie- was the world’s bestselling book writer of all times equaled by Shakespeare. Her books sold approximately 4 billion copies worldwide even though she suffered from dyslexia. This in no way stopped her from being creative and learning how to write and her mystery novels have always been some of the most captivating of all times.
Albert Einstein- was one of the most known scientists and inventor of all times. He suffered from dyslexia mainly because of his bad memory, his constant failure to memorize the simplest of things, his inability to even tie his shoelaces properly and even not remembering the months of the year yet his scientific contributions and theories still have a great impact in our science knowledge today.
Hans Christian Andersen- he was an author of children’s fantasy books such as ‘the emperor’s clothes, the princess and the pie, Thumbelina, the snow queen, the ugly duckling and the little mermaid. He was a victim of dyslexia and showed the world that when you want something, nothing can stop you from obtaining it. His books have been translated into many languages and are distributed worldwide in millions of copies.
Walt Disney- Walter Elias Disney was an American film producer, screen writer, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was known to have dyslexia, a learning disorder characterized with reading difficulties but yet still, he emerged as one of the most influential and innovative figures in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century.
Tom Cruise- the famous American actor and film producer was also a dyslexic which partly led him to be abused as a child. His father went hard on him when something went wrong and was also a victim of bullying at school. He had gone through fifteen schools in twelve years but yet still emerged to be appreciated by the society by his work.
Other famous individuals who were victims of dyslexia are: Orlando Bloom-actor, Pierre curie-physicist, Thomas Edison, Michael faraday- scientists and inventors, Leonardo da Vinci-artists/designer/architect, Pablo Picasso, Cher- Musician, Muhammad Ali-boxer, Steven Spielberg- Film maker and Abhishek bachan-actor
These individuals and all the others not mentioned here have proved beyond doubt that disability is NOT inability. When life offers us challenges then let us make the best use of them to emerge stronger that the challenge itself and thus, become outstanding in the community.