• The Dyslexia Initiative

Pretty Little Dyslexia Lies

By Chontae Feldman

What do the following have in common?


Albert Einstein

Walt Disney

Leonardo Da Vinci

Thomas Edison

Steve Jobs

Bill Gates


Dyslexia?


No, these people are probably NOT dyslexic.  And, there is already research on this.  What they do have in common is that the idea of them being dyslexic is being spread without and evidence, or proof of facts.  Look, I get it.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if all these people were dyslexic?  When we share facts, or info on dyslexia, we need to make sure it’s true.  For us, and for our kids.  


I’m dyslexic.  My daughters have learning disabilities, dyslexia being one of them.  YES, I want them to know that amazing people, doing amazing things are just like them.  Give them someone to look up to and show them that they are capable of doing all these amazing things.  


But, this is not what the dyslexia community is doing.  What has been done in the past is making something up, something that sounds believable, and putting it out there on the internet.  


People don’t fact check.  They just don’t.  So, what does the mom with a newly identified child with dyslexia do.  She finds this amazing ‘fact’ and shares it across social media.  Her friend shares it, and so on.  Then, news outlets pick it up.  By then, it’s all over the internet.  There are books, blogs, and now news post about it.  So, it’s true, right?  Still a big nope.


Don’t believe me, I don’t blame you.  So, here are some links.  I also encourage you to do some fact checking.  If you find that I’m wrong about any of these, please let me know.  Please cite your source though.


Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci & Thomas Edison: http://dyslexia.learninginfo.org/famous-people.htm


But wait, wasn’t Walt Disney on the list of Time Magazine’s list of prominent dyslexics?  

Yes he was.  But Walt was not dyslexic. Read the link.  Walt Disney: https://www.edubloxtutor.com/walt-disney-dyslexia/


Steve Jobs: There is no proof that Steve Jobs had dyslexia.  Neither Steve, nor his family and friends ever said he had dyslexia.   http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/success-stories/steve-jobs


Bill Gates: WIth the  many books about Bill, some even by Bill himself. There has been no mention that he  was dyslexic.  But, he may have dysgraphia: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Education/A-Teacher-Who-Changed-My-Life


And, the above logic applies to all the people that lived before dyslexia was evaluated.  People are applying new testing info to what is written about people from the past.  These people were never evaluated, and could not have been evaluated.  Does this mean they were not dyslexic?  No.  But it does mean that there is no proof or evidence that they were either.


And, so the next burning question….  What about the statement that more than 50% of NASA is dyslexic?  That’s a fact from a book, right?

Yes, that was written in a book, but no, 50% of NASA is not dyslexic.  It sounds great, but NASA cannot ask their employees if they are dyslexic, that’s illegal.  NASA cannot evaluate their employees for dyslexia.  And that many people have not come forward claiming to be dyslexic.  Here’s what NASA had to say:

https://twitter.com/nasapeople/status/236144765098409984?lang=en

For this next one, don’t blame the messenger.

We all know Albert Einstein FAMOUS quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”


It’s a lovely  quote.  But ... guess what?  Einstein did NOT say it.  He did not speak it.  He did not write it down.  

https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/04/06/fish-climb/

https://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/why-we-should-forget-einsteins-tree-climbing-fish/

https://www.history.com/news/here-are-6-things-albert-einstein-never-said


So, if these people are not dyslexic, who really is?

Here is a list of people we have been compiling (see link below).  It’s a living document and is constantly being updated.  See someone missing, send me the name and I’ll look it up.


Faces of Dyslexia:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18zLgYQ6At1LQFhBK6CKGt6Z2wc-ReZNgc-MhwGwsybM/edit?usp=sharing

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