Pirates of the Caribbean Star Struggled with Dyslexia
It seems like every celebrity has a fascinating back story about their time before appearing on the silver screen. Pirates of the Caribbean actress Keira Knightley is no exception. The film star was diagnosed with a learning disability called dyslexia when she was just six years old. Though some may see dyslexia as being detrimental for an aspiring actress, Knightley used it as a springboard for her career.
Though nearly one in 10 children may have dyslexia, studies are few and far between. Many children suffer from reading, writing and spelling difficulties, but for those with dyslexia the problems are much more complex. In some cases, children will see jumbles of letters instead of words, which slows down reading comprehension. Spelling and putting together sounds can become a struggle. In some cases, people like Keira even experience poor short-term memory and inability to recall words and names. Fortunately, with proper training over time, people with dyslexia can achieve very good reading comprehension. People with dyslexia are smart and hardworking individuals who simply see words in a different way from most.
Knightley was teased by other students when she was in school, often because of her pursuit of becoming an actress. Instead of giving into criticism, Knightley fed on it to become a stronger person and a better actress. She confronted the film industry head on. She says that she was able to move past the mean comments because of her acting. She became more motivated to read her lines, thus improving her reading comprehension skills. One of the big motivating factors was Emma Thompson’s screenplay for the film Sense and Sensibility. Her parents allowed her to find an agent for acting if she continued reaching her milestones.
Knightley ended up learning to read and write, though she claims that it is not her best skill. She reads scripts and received excellent grades and scores upon finishing school. She was able to act and attend school at the same time, all while struggling with dyslexia. In recent interviews, the starlet has stressed that people with dyslexia are intelligent; they just see things differently.
It would be wise to take Keira Knightley’s advice. She has starred in amazing films, including A Dangerous Method, The Duchess, Bend it Like Beckham and Pride and Prejudice. Of course, she is not the only celebrity to struggle with a learning disability; there are plenty of others you would never even imagine. Many of these stars have never viewed their disabilities as road blocks. Instead, they have used their minds to find new ways to meet their goals. This just goes to show that there is no reason a person with dyslexia cannot become a star or anything else in life.