Famous Dyslexics: Will Smith

Will Smith always talks about how much he loves living and laughing. And with a long list of movie credits to his name like Men in Black, Pursuit of Happyness, I am Legend and of course his breakthrough television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, perhaps it’s not surprising that he feels good about life.

But he didn’t always have it easy. As a child, he struggled with reading and writing in school due to dyslexia. Those feelings of inadequacy led him to make a promise to himself that he would never again fall behind in life. In fact, in various interviews he has attributed his film-star success to his early failure at learning to read.

To this day, Smith continues to push himself to work harder and reach higher. With an estimated net worth of $215 million, he continues to pursue projects that interest him. As a dyslexic, he is always looking for patterns in different projects.

“Every Monday morning, we sit down – ‘OK, what happened this weekend, and what are the things that resemble things that have happened in the last 10, 20, 30 weekends?’ It is so much fun to look at something everyone’s looking at to see if a different pattern comes out for you.”

The way that Will Smith has discovered he sees the world differently is one of the great skills of many dyslexics.

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Sarah Forrest is an Easyread Coach at Oxford Learning Solutions. The Easyread System is an online phonics course that provides support for spelling and reading problems through short, fun daily lessons. Easyread helps children with highly visual learning styles, dyslexia and auditory processing disorder. Find out more at www.easyreadsystem.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/easyreadsystem.

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