What is Dyslexia?


The word 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek and means 'difficulty with words'.

It is a difference in the brain area that deals with language. It affects the under-lying skills that are needed for learning to read, write and spell. Brain imaging techniques show that dyslexic people process information differently.

Around 4% of the population is severely dyslexic. A further 6% have mild to moderate problems. Dyslexia occurs in people from all backgrounds and of all abilities, from people who cannot read to those with university degrees. Dyslexic people, of all ages, can learn effectively but often need a different approach.

Dyslexia is a puzzling mix of both difficulties and strengths. It varies in degree and from person to person. Dyslexic people often have distinctive talents as well as typical clusters of difficulties.

Successful dyslexics.

* Hans Christian Anderson. Author.

* Anthony Andrews. Actor.

* David Bailey CBE. Photographer.

* Michael Barrymore. TV personality.

* Marlon Brando. Actor

* Richard Branson. Entrepreneur.

* Sarah Brightman. Actress and singer.

* Erin Brokovich Real-life heroine (Julia Roberts played her in the movie of the same name.)

* Gary Chapman. Film script writer.

* Cher. Pop star, actress.

* Agatha Christie. Author.

* Winston Churchill. Politician, author.

* Chuck Close. Artist.

* Brian Conley. Comedian and actor.

* Tom Cruise. Actor.

* Leonardo da Vinci. Artist, inventor.

* Jonathan Dalby. Novelist.

* Ronald Davis. American author.

* Mike Drury. Engineer

* Thomas Edison. Inventor

* Albert Einstein. Scientist, mathematician.

* Gustave Flaubert. French novelist.

* Esther Freud. Novelist.

* Noel Gallagher. Oasis Rock Group, song-writer.

* A.A. Gill. Journalist.

* Danny Glover Award-winning actor

* Whoopi Goldberg. Actress.

* Duncan Goodhew. Swimmer.

* Antony Gormley. Sculptor.

* Nanci Griffith. Folk Singer.

* Susan Hampshire. Actress.

* Woody Harrelson. Actor.

* Salma Hayek. Actress.

* Johnny Herbert. Formula One Racing Driver.

* Michael Heseltine. Politician.

* Tommy Hilfiger. Clothes Designer.

* Anthony Hopkins. Actor.

* Jack Horner. Palaeontologist.

* Bob Hoskins. Actor.

* Crispin Hunt. Singer and guitarist with pop group 'Longpigs'.

* John Irving Author.

* Eddie Izzard. Comedian.

* Demitri Jagger. Actor, nephew of pop star Mick.

* Felicity Kendall. Actress.

* Jodie Kidd. Super-model.

* Lynda La Plante. TV Series writer.

* Lloyd Le Blanc and Judith Holmes Drewery. Sculptors.

* Sandy Lyle. Golfer.

* Rob Lowe Actor

* Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Artist and Designer.

* Lord McAlpine.

* Simon Menzies. Painter.

* Andrew Menzies. Hollywood Art Director.

* Paul Merson. Football Star.

* Sarah Miles. Actress, author and playwright.

* Nicholas Negroponte. Founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

* Phoebe Nicholls. Actress.

* Dominic O'Brien. Word memory champion.

* Olaf - King of Norway (and his children).

* Jamie Oliver. TV chef.

* Oliver Reed. Actor.

* Beryl Reid. Actress.

* Zara Reid. Business woman.

* Guy Ritchie. Film Director.

* Auguste Rodin. Sculptor.

* Lord Richard Rogers. Internationally famous architect.

* Francois Schuiten. Comic strip artist.

* Scott. From the Pop Group '5ive'.

* Peter Scott. Naturalist.

* Eric Shipton. Mountaineer and explorer.

* Tomasz Starzewski. Clothes designer.

* Sir Jackie Stewart. Racing driver.

* Peter Stringfellow. Entrepreneur, Night Club owner.

* Matthew Sturgis. Journalist.

* Mackenzie Thorpe. Artist.

* Anthea Turner. TV Presenter, National Lottery, etc.

* Kevin Viner. Chef.

* Ben Way. Head of a £60,000 computer business at the age of 17.

* Zelda West-Meads. Relationship Counsellor and author.

* James Whale. TV presenter.

* David Whiffen. Chef.

* Marco Pierre White. Chef and restaurateur.

* Mark Wilkinson. Furniture designer and maker.

* Toyah Willcox. Ex-pop star.

* Robbie Williams. Pop star.

* Lord Willis. Author.

* Henry Winkler Actor, producer and director

This list of famous dyslexics was compiled largely from press reports in which people described their dyslexia. Those long-deceased, for example, Leonardo da Vinci, demonstrated classic symptoms of dyslexia.

With thanks. (C) The British Dyslexia Association. www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk