Many of us have happy memories of collapsing on the floor with giggles during a game of Twister. Others of us have not-so-happy memories of a Nerf ball flying through the kitchen and knocking over a glass of juice while the kids are “just playing”!
Did you know that the inventor of both of these products also has dyslexia?
Reyn Guyer’s name is like gold dust in the board game industry. But he struggled with basic reading problems and writing as a child. In fact, many members of his family dealt with dyslexia. He didn’t find out about his diagnosis until one of his daughters was diagnosed in her teenage years. All of a sudden, while listening to the results of her educational assessment, he realised that the psychologist was describing his own difficulties!
He was always a talented artist growing up, something that can be common amongst dyslexics. He started out his career in advertising design for big name products, and invented Twister quite by accident.
“I went out in the bullpen with all the artists and got a big sheet of paper and drew a grid with 1-foot squares on it [to represent the shoe polish we were trying to sell]. Then I got eight of us, secretaries, artists and accountants, and divided them into teams that had to get to the other side. In five minutes we were absolutely laughing so hard it was obvious there was something there.”
He went on to create the Nerf ball and other games. Truly a modern-day Renaissance man, he also writes and records country music under his own label, Wrensong Music.
Sarah Forrest is an Easyread Coach for the Easyread System, an online course that helps teach reading and spelling to children with dyslexia, auditory processing deficits and visual learning styles. For more information on how Easyread gets to the root cause of reading difficulty, visit www.easyreadsystem.com