Dyslexia, It’s a Gift

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Willi Heidelbach from Pixabay

Do you struggle with dyslexia? Share in the comments below!

Ciara Abbott, Journalist

Orlando Bloom was born during an age when dyslexia was seen as a learning disability. He had a hard time in school. He learned what they told him to learn, but it didn’t stick. He tried really hard to get to the level they wanted him to be at, but he was always one step behind. He felt so stupid and dumb. Why couldn’t he understand?

He was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 7. He was put in extra classes, which made him feel stupid. He found it hard to write and read. He found it hard to put his thoughts on paper. He thought “homework was a nightmare”. However, in school, he also found his strengths. He was good at art in many forms, but he especially loved acting. He had always found it hard to read out loud but for some reason, he could read out loud onstage way better than just reading.

Orlando changed his mindset about his “learning disability”. Instead of dyslexia being a disability, he saw it as a strength. He got his first agent in high school, who helped him go to the acting school he wanted to go to. He said the acting school was where he changed his mindset. He learned what worked for him as an actor. He would ask for the lines two days ahead. He would read his lines before bed, sleep on them, and then he would read them again in the morning.

He had a teacher at the acting school who really helped him. The teacher taught him to learn the thoughts of the person he was playing and not the lines. This helped when he started to star in movies where they would usually give you the lines to the movie on the set that day. His mindset was different, he saw dyslexia as a superpower.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that is usually connected to reading. People who have dyslexia take longer to understand words and connecting them to sounds. It is so hard because people with dyslexia are using different parts of the brain than the parts that are usually used for reading. Dyslexia is a language processing disorder. Dyslexics take more time to read and usually, it takes so much energy that they don’t get the meaning of what they read. According to Dean Bragonier, one in every five people have dyslexia or 20% of the world’s population. 35% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. 49% of self-millionaires are dyslexic. One out of two people at NASA are dyslexic.

Some people believe that people with dyslexia aren’t trying to do their best. That they are lazy. That they were doing well, but if they tried harder they would go farther. That they can’t even read so they must be dumb. Orlando was told that he was dumb, but look where he is now.
Everyone is different so why are dyslexics treated like they are stupid? Dyslexics just think differently. They are intelligent and smart. They have a gift that can be used for bad or good.

I have never been told that I was stupid or dumb because I have dyslexia, but I empathize with those who have been told this. I was very lucky. My mom helped me to be diagnosed at the age of 9. My mom helped me to learn to read and now that is one of my favorite things to do with my free time. I also love to create things, which is one of the gifts that come with being dyslexic. I love to draw and paint all types of things. Dyslexia is not just a disability, it is a gift.

References
Dean Bragonier. (2015). The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dPyzFFcG7A

Orlando Bloom and Dyslexia. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLTSPmoH2eE

Orlando Bloom. (2019). Made by Dyslexia Interview. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_ij_ZyDwVI