Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dyslexia Becomes Cool

October was National Dyslexia Awareness Month and while I missed all the hoopla surrounding such a notable event, I did catch an article posted on CNN that listed 11 famous people who overcame dyslexia.

Every month is Dyslexia Awareness Month at our house as my almost 13-year-old son continues to overcome his language-based learning disabilities. I decided to share the list with him hoping to give him some inspiration as he began to tackle another evening of homework.

He was barely impressed; most of the “famous” people listed barely got a shrug. He had no idea who Henry Winkler, “The Fonz,” was and swears that he’s never seen “Happy Days.” He was slightly more interested in Keira Knightley who stared opposite fellow dyslexic Orlando Bloom in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Most on the list received nothing, not even a hint of name recognition from my son. Charles Schwab, Agatha Christie, Alyssa Milano, Bruce Jenner, and Ingvar Kamprad (founder of IKEA) fell into this category. Whoopi Goldberg, Cher and Jay Leno had recognizable names but he still did not seem to care one iota about their reading struggles.

The big payoff came from an unlikely role model, Ozzy Osbourne.  I can’t say that I’d ever choose to have my son to look up to ol’ Ozzy but in my son’s mind, dyslexia became cool last night all because of aging rock star.

A more complete list of famous dyslexics is posted at For some reason, Ozzy didn’t make that list! 

1 comment:

  1. It is nice to know that your son was able to find that one special person with whom he could identify. A take away from this is that we sometime just have to allow kids that choice. For your son it was not these popular persons with whom he was able to identify. However, the fact that he found Ozzy to be a model could one way to help inspire him and give that go. It is not always the big things in life that has the most value but the little things that we sometimes have to turn into the big things.