Famous successful dyslexics include Albert Einstein, Richard Branson and Zoe Wanamaker. So why are we still telling kids that academic success is the only success?
When Margaret’s daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia, she dedicated her time to prove to her daughter that she could achieve whatever she wants. Now, she is the author of Creative, Successful, Dyslexic.
Academic success isn’t everything, famous dyslexics have proven that. And until our education system changes to accommodate different learning styles and learning difficulties, those who have dyslexia have to seek success out of the classroom. Margaret felt that and important message needs to be spread: “some of our best known and most successful personalities in the areas of art, sport, architecture, writing, comedy, business and many more, struggled at school in the way that they might be struggling”.
Zoe Wanamaker says: “When it came to the academic side I was away with the pixies.”
Education is everywhere. Nigel McCrery, creator of Silent Witness learnt about literature by listening to drama on Radio 4 when he was a long-distance lorry driver. “Even now I struggle with reading and don’t often try, still prefer talking books,” he says.
Book by Margaret Rooke
Margaret is adamant that the take-away message of Creative, Successful, Dyslexic is not that school won’t accommodate you, so don’t bother trying. Mollie King says, “work as hard as you can, that’s really important.” Nor is the message that everyone with dyslexia will reach Richard Branson’s level. The famous successful dyslexics mentioned here should be viewed as role models and an inspiration to allow those with dyslexia to overcome any sense of shame. For example Sir Jackie Stewart was married for 19 years before he was able to tell his wife he couldn’t read or write.
Brains with dyslexia may function differently, but that’s not your fault. The fact that the educational system is not tailored for dyslexics is not your fault. Margaret says, “it’s easy to focus on what we can’t do. Let’s do ourselves a favour and focus on what we can.”
Creative Successful Dyslexic is available on Amazon. This post was adapted from the article by Margaret Rooke published in Dyslexia Contact Magazine 2016.