Learning Disabilities: Prevalent but Not Necessarily Deterrents to a Child’s Future Success

The most recent statistics (2017-2018) on public school learners requiring special education services has risen to 7 million. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) the current figure represents 14 percent (14%) of all public school students with ages ranging between 3 and 21; to which 34% percent were diagnosed with specific learning disabilities.


Medical experts say specific learning disabilities surface as a result of unusual brain development, complicated by environmental and genetic causes. The most common learning disabilities include dyslexia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia, dysgraphia, specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorder.

Understanding ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

ADHD is one of the most common disorders occurring during childhood, due to variations in brain anatomy and circuits. More often than not, ADHD runs in families. Lack of focus, self-control, and learning skills are its most common symptoms.

Dyslexiais generally manifested by a learner’s inability to read or comprehend words, letters and other characters; but not necessarily affecting his or her overall intelligence.

Dyscalculia, on the other hand, is a learning disability that affects a learner’s capability to make basic mathematical calculations.

The great news is that learning disabilities experienced during childhood can be controlled and managed. In fact, not a few famous personalities who suffered from one or more types of learning disabilities during their growing up years, attest that the barriers posed by their learning disorders did not stop them from achieving their ambitions in life.

Top 10 Famous Personalities Who Overcame their Learning Disabilities

The list of famous personalities who were able to overpower their learning disability, actually goes beyond ten. However, some were not formally or officially diagnosed, and their disorder, was diagnosed by experts, based only on related history.

The list furnished below consists of dyslexic and/or ADHD individuals who have made landmark achievements that qualify them to land on the all time list of “Top Ten Famous People Who Overcame Their Learning Disabilities.”



    1. Albert Einstein – Recognized as one of the greatest scientists of all time had dyslexia.
    2. Agatha Christie – Who would have guessed that the most famous mystery novel writer suffered from dysgraphia, a disability to understand written words.
    3. Tom Cruise, – easily recognizable as one of the most successful actors of Hollywood, Tom has always made it known that he used to suffer from dyslexia.
    4. Whoopi Goldberg is one of the few people in Hollywood who has won an Academy Award, a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony Award. She also suffered from dyslexia when she was a child.
    5. Steven Spielberg This legendary filmmaker and director learned about his childhood dyslexia after being diagnosed as such in his 60s. Upon learning of his affliction, Spielberg was relieved to have finally found the missing piece of the puzzle that he has been trying to solve in his adult life.
    6. Sylvester Stallone – Another easily recognizable Hollywood actor, who despite experiencing difficulties from dyslexia, continued to improve and develop his skills. Today, he is known not only for being one of the highest-paid actors, as he has also gained a reputation as an excellent screenwriter.
    7. Robin Williams One of Hollywood’s most bankable comedians who had a string of successes during his lifetime, was diagnosed as having ADHD when he was a child.
    8. Henry Winkler  – The Hollywood comedian who rose to popularity by playing TV’s iconic cool dude “The Fonz.” This despite the fact that Winkler was able to read a book only at the age of 31.
    9. Justin Timberlake A most revered pop singer, songwriter, actor and also entrepreneur, started his career as a Disney talent while afflicted with ADHD.
    10. Orlando Bloom.Another easy to recognize, highly-paid Hollywood movie star and dyslexia afflicted personality. He subsequently expressed appreciation for his learning disability, by saying

    “The gift of dyslexia was that I learned everything forward and backward, inside out, so I was fully prepared,”