Many dyslexics are famous and highly successful as adults, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Michelangelo and Picasso in the past, with Sir Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Gates today. Famous and talented actors, such as Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg and Keira Knightley; and young Australian solo sailor, Jessica Watson.
Accepting the 2010 Australian Geographic’s Young Adventurer of the Year award on behalf of her daughter, Julie Watson said: “If you know how many collisions people have before they get to the start line, Jessica’s is nothing. People overcome such amazing things to get out there and be an adventurer. It doesn’t come easy; you don’t just go out there and do it. You have to overcome amazing difficulties.”
Another successful dyslexic and high achieving sportsperson is Australian Track cyclist, Alex Edmonson. Although you may never have heard of the young Commonwealth Games gold medalist, he became the second youngest ever member of an Australian Olympic Track Cycling Team when he was only 18, and represented Australia at the London Olympics, in 2012. At the 2016 Rio Olympics he won a Silver medal in the Team Pursuit. After being beaten narrowly by the British team, he said after the race,
“Of course you want to come to an Olympic Games and stand on top step but as (coach) Tim Decker always says as long as you give 100 per cent and all you’ve got then you can’t be too upset.”
Senior Australian of the Year in 2015, and prolific author Jackie French, is not only very open about her own dyslexic struggles, but has a passion for encouraging all Australian children to read. She believes that “books have the power to change lives.” and gives children and parents alike the wisdom of her years as a highly successful dyslexic author.
You may be surprised to find that another pervious Australian of the Year (1986), Dick Smith, is also dyslexic, joining the ranks of the large percentage of dyslexic entrepreneurs world wide. Struggling at school and leaving at 15 years old, he overcame his learning difficulties to become a highly successful business man, adventurer, and active promoter of Australian made and owned products, among many other pursuits.
All very different people with vastly different abilities and areas of expertise and strength. They could see things as others could not and changed the world each in their own particular ways, or are doing that right now. It has been said that dyslexics are world changers!
Every day young Australian dyslexics are making an impact and overcoming their dyslexia. This video is but one example.
Recently Dyslexic Advantage, an internationally renowned leader in dyslexia advocacy and research, founded and led by Drs Brock and Fernette Eide, proposed a new test for dyslexia, looking at the strengths, talents and gifts typically found in dyslexics!