Learning Disabilities and/or Dyslexia– the Future and a Child’s Potential

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The term “disability” is sometimes a hard word to hear for a parent at an ARD meeting at school.  The feeling of a significant loss for the potential of a child’s future can overtake a parent at such a time.  It is important to share stories such as the one below that illustrates that the future is not always bleak.  There is always hope if the focus is on the child’ strengths as well as areas of need.

Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum is best known for his acting and his work as a model. But he’s also talked openly about how ADHD and dyslexia made his school years hard and helped shape his life.

During a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, Tatum talked about how he handles both his ADHD and his reading issues.

On his ADHD: “Everyone’s on a spectrum. Some people really need [medications] to help them, and others could maybe go on a different route. So it’s really tough. Whatever you do, hopefully you can use it to your benefit.”

On his reading issues: “Doing SNL was by far the most terrifying thing that I’ve ever done, because there is a lot of reading involved, and I don’t read that well out loud.”

Tatum also told T: The New York Times Style Magazine that he did poorly in school because of his learning and attention issues. He was prescribed stimulants for his ADHD. But, according to Tatum, the school didn’t know how to address his learning needs properly.

“I have never considered myself a very smart person, for a lot of reasons,” he told T in an interview. “Not having early success on that one path messes with you. You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down syndrome, and you look around and say, ‘OK, so this is where I’m at.’ Or you get put in the typical classes and you say, ‘All right, I’m obviously not like these kids either.’ So you’re kind of nowhere. You’re just different. The system is broken … we should be able to help kids who struggle the way I did.”

As a young adult, Tatum was drawn to the arts. They turned out to be his calling and his refuge. His acting career has spanned blockbuster films like 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, GI Joe, Magic Mike and White House Down.

Several years ago, Tatum added sculpting to his resume. He now works on clay sculptures from a small studio at his house in the Hollywood Hills.

More and more celebrities are talking about how their learning and attention issues helped fuel their success. Take a look at what they’re saying.

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About the Blogger

Geri Tucker

Geri Coleman Tucker More Posts by the Blogger

Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for USA Today

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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