“Because I think visually, not being able to read meant that other parts of my brain were pushed further…”

That is a comment by movie director Joe Wright about being dyslexic, from an NPR / All Things Considered show which I found thanks to the Dyslexic Advantage Facebook page of Brock Eide, MD, MA, and Fernette Eide, MD, on which they list other highly talented people, and the advantages of the ‘unique brain structure and organization’ of dyslexia.

The photo is Joe Wright on the set of “Atonement” – based on Ian McEwan’s novel.

In an article on the NPR show, Wright said he was aided in his approach to literary adaptation (he also directed “Pride and Prejudice”) by the fact that he is dyslexic, and a slow reader.

“But, in a way, that allows me time to think around what I’m reading. … I read each word and I consider each word carefully.

“Because I think visually, not being able to read meant that other parts of my brain were pushed further, and so when I read a book, I have to see it. It’s taken me quite a long time to realize that that’s what’s going on. I thought that everyone was like that.”

Wright adds, “McEwan…didn’t think about it in pictures, he thought about it in words. He lives in a literary reality rather than a pictorial reality. And I think I live in a pictorial reality.”

From Taking ‘Atonement’ from the Page to the Screen, by Robert Siegel, NPR.

An article several years ago about painter Bennett Strahan quotes Linda Silverman, PhD, of the GIfted Development Center: ‘Most schools focus on the left-brained, “academically talented child–great with reading, writing, calculations. All the things [such schools] focus on are to the detriment of kids who learn like Bennett. They take a lot longer to translate their images into words or numbers.”

‘Right-brainers often become scientists, musicians, math whizzes or artists, she says. “The ones who have changed history, the Einsteins, Edisons, Faradays, any of the brilliant physicists, are right-hemisphere-gifted people,” she says. “They have more in common with the artists than they do with the English teacher.”

From article: Successful Artist, Architect Turns His Dyslexia Into a Wellspring of Creativity; Success, By: RICHARD BENKE / ASSOCIATED PRESS – “Encouraged by a kind great-great-uncle and by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, Bennett Strahan views his condition as a gift.”

Read more quotes by the Eides, Silverman, Anthony Hopkins and others, plus research studies etc., in my earlier post Dyslexia and Creativity.


The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, by Brock L. Eide, Fernette F. Eide.

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner, by Linda Kreger Silverman.