Dustin Hoffman Didn’t Overcome Dyslexia – He Used it to His Advantage: A blog about dyslexia and how you can use it to your advantage.
Dustin Hoffman, the great American actor has said this on his experience of dyslexia:
“I was told by teachers and parents I was stupid, but I never believed it — I just couldn’t remember things.”
The problem with the word ‘overcome’ is that we are led to believe that dyslexia is a strictly negative thing that needs to be conquered like a dragon or the final boss in a video game. This view is more than just slightly misguided and in fact leads to many people feeling like they aren’t good enough because they haven’t completely eradicated their dyslexia.
The reality is that dyslexia can give us an advantage over some non-dyslexic people if we manage our symptoms properly. I want to tell you about some advantages that dyslexic people have:
1.Dyslexic people are highly creative thinkers. Research shows that 12% of all entrepreneurs are dyslexic which suggests that even though we might struggle with spelling we often have an entrepreneurial spirit.
When Dustin Hoffman was a kid, he found schoolwork difficult. It took him longer than other kids to read and write, and for a long time he thought he was stupid. Then he was diagnosed with dyslexia – a learning difficulty that affects the way the brain processes written information, causing problems with reading, writing and spelling.
Now, we all know him as an award-winning actor and director. And we’re not alone in thinking that his dyslexia helped him become a better actor. In 2012, he said: “I think it [dyslexia] is the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it forced me to play in an area that was more comfortable to me, which was performance.”
Dustin Hoffman is a legendary actor and an inspiration to many. He has been nominated for 7 Academy Awards and won 2 Oscars, the first being in 1979 for Kramer vs. Kramer. Hoffman has also starred in many hit movies such as Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Rain Man, Hook, Outbreak and Tootsie.
Hoffman was born on August 8th 1937 and grew up in Los Angeles California. He graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1955. It wasn’t until after he had graduated high school that he was diagnosed with dyslexia by his wife at the time Anne Byrne Hoffman. Dustin struggled with reading throughout his life but was able to use his dyslexia to his advantage when acting.
Hoffman says that because of his dyslexia he often memorized scripts differently from others hence why he often seems so believable and real in many of his roles. Most recently Dustin starred in Quartet a British comedy-drama film that takes place at Beecham House a retirement home in England for classical musicians directed by Dustin’s son Jake Hoffman.
Dustin Hoffman, who is dyslexic and has a very successful acting career, said in an interview that he was thrown out of school at the age of 5, because they thought he was stupid. At the age of 7 he was diagnosed with dyslexia. In his youth he struggled with reading and writing. He had to repeat first grade twice and never could read fluently.
At the age of 20, Hoffman attend Santa Monica College to study method acting with Lee Strasberg before moving on to New York City to study at the Actors Studio with Elia Kazan, Robert Lewis and Sandy Meisner.
His acting career took off when he played one of his most famous roles as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967). He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1979 for Kramer vs. Kramer, and in 1988 for Rain Man.
Hoffman has described his experience as a dyslexic as having ‘a different perception of the world’ which helped him ‘to see things from a different angle’.
According to the Dyslexia Research Institute, approximately 80% of all people who learn to read will never become fluent readers after 12 years in school. One out of five children suffer from some form of learning disability
The reason I’ve never really understood what dyslexia is or why people have such a problem with it, is because I’ve never had any issues living with the condition.
I was diagnosed as being dyslexic when I was in my early twenties and to be honest, I didn’t really know what it meant. It’s just something I’d always had, and while I knew that some of the things I could do were a bit different from other people, it never held me back.
I look at dyslexia as a gift – it allows me to take in information in a different way to other people and to understand and deal with problems differently.
However, before you get too excited about the benefits of dyslexia, there are some downsides to the condition which shouldn’t be ignored – but this blog is about looking at the positive side of things!
The way that I see it, if you have dyslexia then you have to work ten times harder than someone who doesn’t. This means that you will inevitably end up working smarter than them too. The more effort you put into something, the more likely you are to succeed.
I’m dyslexic. I have been since I was a kid. My symptoms have changed over time – now it’s more about organisation, reading maps and remembering names – but for the most part, it’s always been about reading.
I can remember from a very early age, not being able to read simple words like ‘car’ and ‘bat’. I was always the last one to finish my reading tests at school and I never really enjoyed reading books until I was well into my teenage years. My dad gave me a book called The Hobbit when I was 12 and although it took me two months to finish it (my sister finished it in two days), once I did, it was like an epiphany.
This guy had written a book that captured my imagination, allowed me to escape reality for a while and learn about a whole new world that I didn’t know existed. After that, I read everything I could get my hands on: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, JRR Tolkien, Robert Jordan, Michael Crichton – you name it, if it had an interesting cover and a decent blurb, I’d read it!
In this post we’ll talk about how to use dyslexia to your advantage, from the perspective of a dyslexic person. I will also touch on topics such as dysgraphia, ADHD and Aspergers.
I have been wanting to write about this for some time now but have been unsure how to do it. I guess I can only share my personal experience so far, and hopefully inspire others who might be in the same boat.
I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 5 years old. Throughout my life I have gotten many comments from people who think it is an excuse or that it is all in your head, but they are wrong, very wrong. Dyslexia is a real thing and it affects people differently from each other depending on what type you have, because there types of dyslexia:
• Visual Dyslexia
• Auditory Dyslexia
• Phonological Dyslexia
Some of the best and most successful people in history were and are dyslectic, such as:
Steve Jobs (Apple)
Richard Branson (Virgin)
Anthony Hopkins (Actor)
Whoopi Goldberg (Actor)
Henry Winkler (Actor)