Famous People with Dyslexia - Help, Support & Resources

Dyslexia in Society

People with dyslexia are often highly creative and original. They usually succeed through sheer hard work and determination. They are valuable members of a working team.

Recent research showed that a high proportion of self-made millionaires are dyslexic, probably because they had the tenacity and self-belief to succeed.

Famous People with Dyslexia
Dyslexia does not stop you getting on in life. Look at the list of just a few of the many successful dyslexic people below. You can succeed you may have your name added soon!

General George S Patton
Hans Christian Andersen
Michael Barrymore
Dennis Bergkamfp
Marlon Brando
Richard Branson
Agatha Christie
Winston Churchill
Margi Clark
Brian Connolly
Tom Cruise
Charles Darwin
Walt Disney
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Whoopi Goldberg
Duncan Goodhew
Susan Hampshire
Carol Harrison
Goldie Hawn
Michael Heseltine
Jeremy Irons
Eddie Izzard
Lynda La Plante
Ruth Madoc
Steve Redgrave
Richard Rogers
Jackie Stewart
Anthea Turner
Leonardo da Vinci
W B Yeats
Benjamin Zephaniah

Famous People with Dyslexia on Video

List of Famous People – DVD on Video

Great short DVD on Famous People
by Oxfordshire Dyslexia Association.

See Dyslexia Differently
Excellent video to explain dyslexia to children.
by British Dyslexia Association
See Dyslexia Differently

My Dyslexia Mind
A Newsround Special
My Dyslexia Mind


Success Stories
12th March 2009
Studies: 35% of U.S. entrepreneurs have dyslexia –

A study out of the Cass Business School in London shows that: 35% of U.S. entrepreneurs are dyslexic, compared with just 1% of corporate managers.
All in the Mind – The Economist print edition.
Click Here for the Full Story

15th September 2008
Congratulations to Louis Barnett, 16, from Kinver.
A 16-year-old entrepreneur is enjoying the sweet taste of success after landing a deal to sell his chocolate bars in supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.
Click Here for the Full Story

Dyslexia Myths
There are many myths around about dyslexia. You have probably heard quite a few.
Some of the ones we have heard are below:

* Dyslexia does not exist.
* You cannot test for dyslexia until the child is seven years of age.
* You can cure dyslexia.
* Dyslexia is a middle-class syndrome.
* Dyslexia is a term used for people who are backward.
* If you cannot read you must be dyslexic.
* If you cannot spell you must be dyslexic.
* If you can spell well, you cannot have dyslexia.
* If you do not reverse your letters i.e., b/d’s, p/b’s you cannot be dyslexic.
* If you do not reverse letters you must be dyslexic.
* There is no definitive test for dyslexia.
* If you force a child to read every day with you they will eventually learn to read.
* Bad parenting causes dyslexia.
* You cannot have dyslexia if you are ‘gifted’.
* You cannot have dyslexia if you have a low intelligence level.
* You can outgrow dyslexia.
* Dyslexia does not affect children in other countries.
* The majority of teachers know about dyslexia.

If you have heard about any myths regarding dyslexia, please let us know, and we may be able to include them in the list above?

Dyslexia & Music

There has been a lot of discussions over the years as to whether music helps students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties. There have been several research papers which appears to support this theory, However, no sooner does a research paper seem to support this approach, we see another one that looks to challenge it. As with other things, I leave this to the reader to make their mind up.

You will find some details of research below and others will be added shortly.

Catalyst of Dysgraphia
A very unusual piece of music that gives other dyslexics some inspiration. Please click on our dyslexiaa2z.com blog.

Music training’s effect on cognition
A study of underprivileged 3- to 5-year-olds from Head Start preschools found significant cognitive improvements after “musical intervention.” Children who received music training had improvements in non-verbal IQ, numeracy and spatial cognition compared to their pre-intervention test scores.

Music therapy helps with language ability

PLAYING Mozart to children with developmental disorders can dramatically improve their language ability, according to a leading speech and language therapist.

Karen O’Connor, who trained in the LiFT music therapy programme in Canada and runs clinics in Dublin and Galway, said she hoped the therapy would become available publicly in Ireland through the health and education systems: “It has been scientifically proven that certain music, in particular, Mozart, has a special effect on opening up the neuropathways – which are like highways to the part of the brain which allow us to attend, listen, absorb and express yourself.”

The programme is used to treat children and adults with disorders such as ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, dyspraxia and autism. O’Connor said one month’s treatment could accelerate language development by up to three years. “The neuroplasticity of the brain is increased, allowing us to take in more information and express ourselves confidently,” she said.

Controlled MRI scans had shown that the cortex of the brain lit up when classical music was played, she added.
by Niamh Mullen
Posted in Research and Education on 20 March 2009

Music Booklist

There are not many books on music and dyslexia about, but here are a few I have found:

Music and Dyslexia: A Positive Approach
by Tim Miles, John Westcombe, and Diana Ditchfield (Paperback – 29 Feb 2008)

Music and Dyslexia: Opening New Doors (Dyslexia Series (Whurr)
by Tim Miles and John Westcombe (Paperback – 26 Mar 2001)

Instrumental Music for Dyslexics: A Teaching Handbook (Dyslexia Series (Whurr)
by Sheila Oglethorpe (Paperback – 15 Jan 2002)

Music Web Addresses – Help

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has an excellent music section. To find out more go to:

British Dyslexia Association (BDA)