Those who knew Albert Einstein as a child described him as mentally slow, unsociable, and dreamy. His sister reported that he spoke very few words until he was seven years old. Today some believe he was a dyslexic genius.
The term dyslexia is used to describe a learning disability which often causes one to reverse letters or numbers when reading. It can affect reading, writing, spelling, and pronouncing words. This can be especially confusing to a child. Best-selling author Debbie Macomber recalls:
“I was the only girl in my first-grade class to be in the Robin Reading Group, the lowest level there was. My teacher told my mother that I would never do well in school.”
Debbie remained a very average student in grade school; her spelling was atrocious, and she could never achieve good grades in English. Her teachers described her as an aimless dreamer. This happened in the fifties when no one had heard the word Dyslexia.
In spite of her learning disability, Debbie dreamed of becoming a writer. After many years of determined faith and hard work, Debbie Macomber became a New York Times bests-selling author. More than 140 million copies of her books are in print; they have been translated into twenty-three languages, and some have been made into Hallmark movies.
Bodie Thoene also had difficulty learning to read. When she was in third grade her Sunday school teacher demanded that she stand and read the words of a song in class. When she could not, her teacher ridiculed her in front of the other students. Bodie ran out of the class in tears, and then she began to pray:
“Hello up there, I am Bodie. I ran away from Sunday school. I’m sorry. I can’t read the songs. I don’t want to go back to Sunday school until I can read. I want to read like the other kids.” She made a bargain with God: If He would teach her to read she would write something and read it just for Him.
In spite of dyslexia, Bodie grew up and became a best-selling writer. Due to faith, prayer, and persistent work, she and her husband Brock have published over 45 works of historical fiction, sold more than 10 million copies of their books, and won eight Gold Medallion awards.
Debbie Macomber explains that her dyslexia has never gone away. She says, “To this very day I’m a slow, thoughtful reader and a ‘creative’ speller.” Nevertheless, she is absolutely convinced that each of us is created with a God-given purpose and that His purpose for her was to become a writer.
Google the word Dyslexia and you will find a long list of successful people who have suffered from this disorder. Included in this list are famous author Agatha Christie, TV host Jay Leno, Actor Tom Cruise, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain.
Writer Dorothy Leeds says: “People who are most successful in life do not get to the top because of what happens to them; they get to the top because of how they react to what happens to them.”
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