Steven Spielberg’s Struggle with Dyslexia


dyslexic steven spielberg

When people think of successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg is typically at the top of the list. Most people, even his loyal fans, would never guess that the famous director has struggled with dyslexia throughout his entire life.

What is even more amazing is the fact that his learning disorder went undiagnosed for years. Still, Steven Spielberg did not let his dyslexia hold him back from accomplishing his big dreams.

Spielberg, now 65 years old, was not diagnosed with his learning disorder until just a few years ago at the age of 60. He talked about the significance of growing up in his New Jersey town, not learning how to read correctly at the age he should have. He spoke candidly about the disorder on camera as he was interviewed by Quinn Bradlee.

Dyslexia is a condition in which the brain fails to recognize symbols in the same way most other people do. As a result, children like Spielberg likely had trouble learning to read without extra help. WhenSteven Spielberg grew up in the 1950s, dyslexia was not even a condition that a person could be diagnosed with.

Spielberg fans might be surprised to learn that his failure to read on target with other students led to being bullied and treated poorly. Even his teachers failed to recognize that there was a problem with his reading comprehension. They were the first to label him as a poor student who just did not do the work required of him. He was perceived as a lazy student, not a child who needed help.

As a learning disability, dyslexia can severely decrease a person’s accuracy when it comes to reading, writing and spelling. In some cases, dyslexia can influence short-term memory and the way one writes. Unfortunately, this disability can affect up to a tenth of the population but it goes widely undiagnosed. No case of dyslexia is exactly like another; the disability can be attention related, visual or auditory. Cases like Steven Spielberg’s, involving reading and writing, are the most common when it comes to childhood cases.

When these children become adults, they often have better comprehension but may read slowly in comparison to other readers. In many cases, it does not significantly impact adulthood.

Steven Spielberg overcame his learning disorder by turning to filmmaking. Though Spielberg’s situation was obviously tough, he claims that he never felt that he was a victim of his learning disorder, and it appears that he actually used it to his advantage in every way possible. He used some of his experiences in school for his films, such as “The Goonies,” which was based on a group of friends he had who just did not fit in with the rest of the students.

Steven Spielberg expresses the sentiment that movies can transform one’s life and save them from feeling shame. He says that this is exactly what happened to him. He used film as an escape, and it was successful for him.

Spielberg’s success did not occur overnight though. He was an intern with Universal Studios when he created his first short theatrical film, Amblin’ in 1968. As of today, he has addressed some of the most controversial topics imaginable, including the Holocaust and slavery. His major successes include Schindler’s List, Jaws and Jurassic Park.

Learn about Other Famous People With Dyslexia

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