When he was in fourth or fifth grade, Dylan was assigned to read Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” to a group of kindergarten students. Dylan’s approach was to memorize the book to help him during the actual reading.
"...Despite the fact that dyslexia accounts for between 80 and 90 percent of all learning disabilities, said Yale’s Sally Shaywitz, it remains deeply misunderstood and weighed down by inaccurate mythology. Dyslexics do not “see words backward,” for example. Another kid once said to Dylan that he had had dyslexia for a while, too, but it went away. In sixth grade, Skye Lucas, who is dyslexic, was called “mentally retarded” by another student. If she had been younger, she said in Redford’s film, she would have been upset, but, wise beyond her years, she knows full well how much dyslexia is misunderstood.
Skye’s father, Tyler, a successful orthopedic surgeon, always found reading a tremendous challenge, but his determination got him into medical school and into a flourishing career. He didn’t realize until Skye was diagnosed with dyslexia that, of course, he has suffered with it all his life.
Although society’s understanding of what dyslexia is and isn’t has increased in recent years, it’s alarming that schools are often ill equipped to accommodate students with dyslexia. When one parent finally learned that her daughter’s stomach aches and other maladies were not so much “performance anxiety,” as her school had told her, but were prompted by her dyslexia, she was relieved and thought the school would feel similarly. Instead, the school officials insisted the girl be placed elsewhere immediately.
Dyslexia, Shaywitz said poetically, is a paradox: It is “an island of a weakness … surrounded by a sea of strengths.”
Dyslexics like Virgin Airlines’ Sir Richard Branson, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, investment broker Charles Schwab and attorney David Boies share qualities of persistence, creativity, thinking outside the box ‑ their own sea of strengths. After he’d already built the Virgin empire, Branson had to have the difference between “net” and “gross” explained to him by comparing the amounts of fish caught in a “net” versus the number of fish available in the sea. Today he believes dyslexia has led him to simplify his company’s advertising language, which has benefited his company..."