Celebrities Who Didn’t Let Learning Disabilities Stop Them

Celebrities Who Didn’t Let Learning Disabilities Stop Them

You might be surprised by the number of successful actors, directors, musicians, journalists and star athletes who had a hard time growing up because of various types of learning disabilities. For some, testing for ADHD, autism or dyslexia identified the problem early on. Others didn’t undergo testing for learning disabilities until they were well into their careers.  

Understood.org, a collaboration of 15 nonprofit organizations that have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey, shared a number of Success Stories: Celebrities With Dyslexia, ADHD and Dyscalculia.  And we’d like to share some of them with you.

Celebrities Who Struggled with Learning Disabilities 

  • Growing up, classmates called Whoopi Goldberg dumb. That was before she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Fortunately, as Understood.org reports, “Her mother told her not to listen to them. Her mom told her she could be anything she wanted to be. Goldberg believed her and grew up to become a comedian and talk-show host’and one of only about a dozen people to have won a Grammy, an Academy Award, an Emmy and a Tony Award. She attributes thinking differently as a factor in helping her succeed.”
  • Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter films, has dyspraxia, which can impede basic motor skills. “He was 9 when his mother encouraged him to audition for a play,” Understood.org reports. “I was having a hard time in school,” he said. His mom thought acting would boost his confidence. She was right!” 
  • According to Understood.org, Steven Spielberg – the director of such movie hits as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, The Color Purple and Schindler’s List –  was in his 60s when he learned he had dyslexia. “School administrators thought he was lazy,” Understood.org says. “He was bullied by classmates, and his troubles in school played a part in his career. Not only did making movies give him a place to channel his energies, but feeling like an outsider helped him co-write The Goonies, a hit movie about a quirky group of friends who didn’t quite fit in at school. He said finding out as an adult that he has dyslexia was like “the last puzzle piece to a great mystery that I’ve kept to myself.”

Spielberg’s story shows that you’re never too old to undergo testing for learning disabilities! If you are interested in testing for ADHD or a learning disability evaluation for yourself or someone you love, we hope you will contact us.