photo of Tom Cruise

Dyslexia is a reading disability that is more common than you might think. In fact, some of the most famous celebrities in the world have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Despite the inherent struggles that come with being dyslexic, this list of celebrities persevered to overcome the challenges:

  • Tom Cruise: Tom Cruise has enjoyed an illustrious acting career spanning over thirty years. However, as a student, he says he was “a functional illiterate”, and struggled to read and implement even basic study skills. He finally learned to read as an adult through Study Technology, a learning method developed by L. Ron Hubbard. Cruise continues to pay his success forward as a founding board member of H.E.L.P., aka the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project, which provides free tutoring in communities all over the world.
  • Cher: As one of the world’s most famous entertainers, Cher dropped out of school when she was only 16. Cher finally discovered that she was dyslexic at age 30, since she was never tested for learning disabilities in grade school. The singer said, “When I was in school, it was really difficult. My report cards always said that I was not living up to my potential.” Although it presented some major challenges, Cher’s dyslexia clearly didn’t stand in the way of her ability to accomplish her dream of becoming a great actress and singer.
  • Anderson Cooper: Anderson Cooper says he “grew up in a home where reading and writing had great value.” As a child, he suffered from a mild form of dyslexia in which he would see some letters backward. After going to a reading tutor, he was encouraged to find books that he was passionate about, which he credits for an increased motivation to overcome his dyslexia. Despite his early issues with reading, Anderson went on to become a successful journalist and CNN anchor.
  • Jay Leno: While some students would view struggling in school as a hardship, Jay never minded working a bit harder. The stand-up comedian and popular late night talk show host credits perseverance, humor, and a positive attitude as the recipe for success in his career and in overcoming his dyslexia. Indeed, Leno has said “I discovered that being a little bit different actually sets you aside in show business; it makes you special. Always try to turn your negative into a positive!”
  • Orlando Bloom: The successful movie star said that before his diagnosis with dyslexia at age seven, he was frustrated in school and “felt stupid” compared to his peers. Growing up, he was encouraged to develop other creative and productive skills, which he did by playing sports and honing his acting craft. His advice for children with dyslexia is not to be ashamed, but to ask for help from special needs tutors. Bloom encourages kids to “take this obstacle and make it the reason to have a big life.”

The special needs tutors at Reach Professional In-Home tutoring know how frustrating dyslexia can be for students and parents. REACH Professional In-Home Tutoring specializes in private tutoring for children with learning disabilities. If your child is struggling with dyslexia, we have special needs tutors in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange County, and Alameda County standing by waiting to help.