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The Dyslexic and Creative Mind – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here are more examples of creative people with dyslexia, plus some of the neuroscience about the learning difference:

Whoopi Goldberg-MuppetsWhoopi Goldberg is “one of the only ten people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award; and is the first woman to be honored with the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor…has written three books and is a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador…

“It’s hard to imagine that this successful woman once struggled in school, hearing words such as ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid’ directed at her” [on account of her dyslexia].

“I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb,” she said in an interview with the Academy of Achievement, into which she was inducted in 1994.

From profile on site: The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.

Henry Winkler had similar negative reactions earlier in his life: “School was this immovable object. I was told I wasn’t living up to my potential, that I was stupid. My parents, being short Germans, were convinced I was merely lazy.”

After graduating from the Yale School of Drama, he supported himself by doing commercials. “Reading cold was, like, out of the question,” he says, “I improvised everything. They’d say, ‘You aren’t reading the words,’ and I’d say, ‘I’m just giving you the essence.’ I was really good at getting commercials.”

[From article: He’s happy these days – Henry Winkler battled early dyslexia and some post-Fonzie doldrums to create an evergreen career as a director, actor and author. By Mimi Avins, Los Angeles Times Nov 25, 2005.]

Stephen J CannellStephen J. Cannell was an American emmy-award winning producer, screenwriter of over 40 television shows, novelist and occasional actor.

He pointed out, “People with dyslexia are often dreamers, and good at abstract thought… When I’m writing an action scene, I can just see it happening.” [Paraphrased from CNN interview, 2001]

The Dyslexic Brain

The brain physiology and neuropsychology underlying dyslexia are very big topics; here are a few perspectives:

Psychologist Linda Silverman explains, “Tom West suggests that left-hemisphere deficiencies, such as dyslexia, are fundamentally linked to right-hemisphere strengths, such as visual thinking, spatial ability, pattern recognition, problem solving, heightened intuition and creativity.”

That is a quote from her book Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner – referring to West’s book: In the Mind’s Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People With Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images and the Ironies of Creativity.

[Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D. founded the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development, and its subsidiaries, Gifted Development Center and Visual-Spatial Resource.]

Here is another video by Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide [see the first one, and link to their book, in Part 1]:


Concluded in Part 3.


The Dyslexic and Creative Mind – Part 2

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2019). The Dyslexic and Creative Mind – Part 2. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Mar 2019
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