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Twice Exceptional = Exceptional Squared!
Often, only the learning disability in a twice exceptional child or adult is
recognized. But there is as much "good" as "bad" in twice exceptional
learning styles. Here's a list of successful people who have capitalized
on their exceptional learning styles!
Dyslexia: FORTUNE examines business leaders and artists who have gone beyond
the limitations of dyslexia... and a few good lists:
Scott Adams, cartoonist,
Positive Attitude: A Dilbert Collection and
Try Rebooting Yourself: A Dilbert Collection
Bailey, iconic photographer
- At the age of 59 I have yet to write a letter and still write figures the
wrong way round...
- “I have ADHD and I have taken medicine for it since I was a kid,” Biles
wrote on her Twitter account. “Please know, I believe in clean sport, have
always followed the rules, and will continue to do so as fair play is
critical to sport and is very important to me.”
David Boies, celebrated trial attorney, best known as the guy who beat
- finally learned to read in third grade, devouring Marvel comics, whose
pictures provided clues to help him untangle the words
Bowersock, CEO, Terri's
Consign & Design Furnishings
- The founder of secondhand furniture retailer Terri's Consign learned to
run her business through pictures...
- Richard Branson, founder of
Virgin Records and
Virgin Atlantic Airlines
- dyslexic, spanked by his teachers for bad grades and a poor attitude,
dropped out of school at 16...
Gaston Caperton, former governor of West Virginia and now
president of the
College Board - the SAT folks
Charlton, fantasy author and medical student
- Fantasy author of
Spellwright, now medical student. Read his whole
- Cher struggled with reading all through grade school, and at age 16, she
dropped out. Though she found out at age 30 that she had dyslexia, Cher went
untested in grade school and her dyslexia was unrecognized—many teachers
thought she wasn’t trying.
"I never read in school," Cher said in an interview. "I got really bad
grades, D’s and F’s and C’s in some classes, and A’s and B’s in other
classes. In the second week of the 11th grade, I just quit. When I was in
school, it was really difficult. Almost everything I learned, I had to learn
by listening. My report cards always said that I was not living up to my
- John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems
- dyslexic, feared he'd never make it through school--and might not have
without a tutor
Agatha Christie, mystery author
- dysgraphic. "I, myself, was always recognized . . . as the "slow
one" in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it.
Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were
without originality. I was…an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained
so until this day."
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain,
winner of the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature
- Churchill suffered from a
- Tom Cruise, actor
- dyslexic. Tom, like his mother, suffered from dyslexia and was put into
the remedial classes at school. Tom is right handed when writing, but does
most things left handed. He never let his learning disability stand in
the way of his success...
Dearborn, business woman
- Jenny Dearborn, current Chief Learning Officer at global tech company
SAP, overcame more than the gender gap associated with STEM careers to be
where she is now. She also struggles with severe dyslexia, ADHD, and mild
OCD. Her early schooling was accompanied by difficulties in reading and
paying attention in the classroom. Dearborn was placed in special education
classes, where she was told to run off her abounding energy so she could
focus better on her work.
It wasn’t until junior college that Dearborn was diagnosed with her learning
disabilities. Away from the negative academic atmosphere of her early
schooling, she learned, with the aid of books on tape, how to train her eyes
and brain to recognize patterns in letters that helped her read better...
Patrick Dempsey, actor, Grey's Anatomy
- dyslexic. diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 12 years old. Before that,
he had been misdiagnosed and put in special education classes...
Walt Disney, creator of Disney, Disney films, Disneyland and
Disneyworld, and more...
- dyslexic. Labeled "slow" as a child, and fired from the Kansas City
newspaper for not being creative...
Bill Dreyer, inventor and
professor of biology at Caltech
- dyslexic, invent one of the first protein-sequencing machines, which
helped to launch the human genome revolution, now placed in the National
Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.
- Albert Einstein, physicist, best known for his theory of relativity
Einstein's Biographers Disprove Claim that He was Dyslexic
Goldberg, actress & comedienne
- dyslexic "No matter what you do.....just give it your best shot!"
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone and founder of the Bell
Temple Grandin, renowned animal
scientist, inventor of humane livestock handling systems
- Autistic and amazing!
The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's and
in Pictures: My Life with Autism give tremendous insight into Asperger's
World Cup goalie
- He’s most proud that he didn’t “allow myself to be restricted by
Tourette’s syndrome.” And today, “one of the biggest things I can do
[for Tourette's awareness] is be in the public eye,” he told Neurology Now.
“I’m on television, ticcing and twitching. I think that’s kind of cool.”
How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard went from international ridicule to
World Cup history
Olympic gold medalist in swimming
- "I just barely got through school. The problem was a learning disability,
at a time when there was nowhere to get help."
Kamprad, founder of IKEA
- Ever wonder how IKEA came up with unique Swedish names for all of its
furniture? It was from its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, who is dyslexic.
Kamprad’s original furniture business began as a mail-order sales business.
Most of his products were identifiable by a set of numbers, but Kamprad had
trouble remembering the codes for each product, which turned out to be the
sign of his dyslexia.
So, instead of delegating those responsibilities to another person and
avoiding the issue, he used his disability to his advantage by coming up
with a more creative system for organizing his products. This turned out to
be the most iconic aspect of his now-worldwide business.
Kamprad created a naming system where he gave names to each piece of
Jay Leno, comedian
- dyslexic. Jay credits his dyslexia with enabling him to succeed in comedy.
He credits his dyslexia with helping him develop the drive and perseverance
needed to succeed in comedy, and life in general...
- He went back to the doctor and learned that the ADHD hadn’t gone away as
he’d grown up. In fact, he still deals with it daily. “ADHD isn’t a bad
thing, and you shouldn’t feel different from those without ADHD,” he wrote.
“Remember that you are not alone. There are others going through the same
Malone, business woman
- In 1999, British entrepreneur Jo Malone sold her five year old cosmetics
company to Estée Lauder, one of the top cosmetic brands in the business.
Before that, Malone didn’t really think her handmade bath oils were a means
by which to build a career. In fact, she didn’t see herself as a qualified
business owner either. Malone was dyslexic, and at 15 years old, was forced
to drop out of school to provide for her family, never being able to try and
improve or refine her academic skills. She was never taught how to run a
Mandel, game show host / stand-up comedien
- This game show host and stand-up comedian is known for his vivacious
personality as well as for his disorders. Mandel has both ADHD and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He grew up with these disorders during
a time when they weren’t officially diagnosed or understood.
“Back in the 1960s, when I was growing up, my symptoms didn’t have a name
and you didn’t go to the doctor to find out. So, in my case, they were
called ‘Howie Mandel...’”
Craig McCaw, pioneered the cellular industry
Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko's
- Orfalea worked out a symbiotic relationship with classmates on a group
project at USC's Marshall Business School; they did the writing, he did the
photocopying (and got the germ of the idea that led to Kinko's). Read
Copy This! Lessons from a hyperactive dyslexic who turned a bright idea
into one of Americas best companies
General George Patten,
U.S. WWII General
- There has been much speculation concerning, the fact
that Patton did not begin his formal education until the age of 11. It has
been claimed that Patton's parents kept him out of school because he
suffered from a disorder known today as "dyslexia." There is truthfully no
way of proving that claim, though. Although Patton was a terrible speller
throughout his lifetime, he did not show any signs of a writing problem
caused by dyslexia. Even if the claim of dyslexia is true, it only adds to
the admiration that should be felt for Patton. To overcome such a handicap
and to complete the rigorous depth of study that he accomplished would have
been in itself a marvelous feat of sheer willpower...
Pennington, actor / home improvement
- This home improvement guru was always full of energy as a child.
Pennington was hyperactive, and he was a distraction to other children in
the classroom. Doctors weren’t sure how to treat his behavioral problems at
“My mom was studying to be a child psychologist and she went to my
elementary school to test the worst kid they had. They were like, ‘Mrs.
Pennington, you really don’t want to know who that is...’”
- ADHD made schoolwork difficult for Phelps when he was little. He liked
to move, acted up in class, and had a hard time getting his work finished.
Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD at age 9.
“I [saw] kids who, we were all in the same class, and the teachers treated
them differently than they would treat me,” Phelps told People magazine. “I
had a teacher tell me that I would never amount to anything and I would
never be successful.”
- As many as 50% of individuals with dyslexia have dyspraxia, although
many of them won’t have heard the term. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe
spoke about his dyspraxia which affects his ability to write by hand and tie
shoelaces. He’s said part of the reason he became an actor was because his
dyspraxia meant he was not successful at school...
- John S. Reed,
Chairman and CEO of Citicorp, Citibank, and post-merger, Citigroup, former
Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
politician and vice president of the United States
- "I was one of the 'puzzle children' myself -- a dyslexic . . . And I still
have a hard time reading today. Accept the fact that you have a problem.
Refuse to feel sorry for yourself. You have a challenge; never quit!"
Rockefeller: the Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller - Worlds to Conquer 1908-1958
Bill Samuels, Jr., the president of Maker's Mark
- dyslexic, At Vanderbilt Law School, Samuels spent a lot of time in
study-group discussions. "That's how I learned the cases," he says. His
friends helped with the reading; he paid for the beer. Better than most
people, dyslexics learn humility and how to get along with others...
- Charles Schwab,
founder and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation
- Charles Schwab was very strong in math, science, and
sports (especially golf), which helped him get into Stanford. But anything
involving English "was a disconnect." He couldn't write quickly enough to
capture his thoughts. He couldn't listen to a lecture and take legible
notes. He couldn't memorize four words in a row. He doesn't think he ever
read a novel all the way through in high school. He was within one unit of
flunking out of Stanford his freshman year. "God, I must just be really dumb
in this stuff," he used to tell himself. "It was horrible, a real drag on
me." So horrible that Schwab and his wife, Helen, created a foundation to
help parents of children with learning disorders. Founded Charles and Helen
Schwab Foundation is to assist dyslexic children
- Usually behind the scenes, filmmaker Steven Spielberg stepped in front
of the camera to talk for the first time about his challenges with dyslexia
and how he struggled for years with the undiagnosed learning disability. It
was just five years ago that Spielberg was properly diagnosed with the
developmental reading disorder, which occurs when the brain does not
properly recognize and process certain symbols...
George "The Animal" Steele,
professional wrestler, physical education teacher and coach at Madison High
School in Madison Heights, Michigan
- dyslexic. "Would you believe that I had a learning disability
and could not read or write, yet I have hours beyond my Masters Degree and
taught and coached at the high school level for twenty five years?"
former chief economist of Bank One, now Senior Managing Director and Chief
Economist of Mesirow Financial
- ...has only recently gone public with the story of her struggle to
overcome dyslexia. “I spent a lot of my time trying to be something I
wasn’t, in my earlier career and education,” Diane says, “I was always
trying to cover up who I was. Now, dyslexia is just a part of me.”
- “I have OCD mixed with ADD,” he says. “You try living with that
Winkler, past Chairman and CEO Ford Motor Credit Co.
- Henry Winkler, actor
and director... "the Fonz!"
- later identified as dyslexia...
Williams, actor & comedian
- dyslexic, AD/HD. Refers to himself as "the poster child for ADD"
Woodgate, furniture and lighting designer
- dyslexic. "Dyslexia is now cool but when I was at school I was just
thick,” recalls furniture and lighting designer Terence Woodgate. “I became
aware that I was dyslexic when my son was assessed for dyslexia, but I
always knew something was wrong with the wiring. Letters just float around.
I have to remember the whole word. I can’t construct it."
- dyslexic. "I hated school. One of the reasons was a learning
disability, dyslexia, which no one understood at the time. I still can't
Copyright © 2007-2016 Carolyn K.
August 03, 2020