Jurassic Park. E.T. Jaws. Indiana Jones. Did you know that the maker of some of the most famous movies of all time struggled to read as a child? In fact, Steven Spielberg wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until he was 59 years old, when he took his daughter for a learning evaluation for her difficulty in the classroom.
As a kid, Spielberg was not enthusiastic about school. But he loved creating stories to act out with his friends, and at a young age starting making a few short movies with his friends. He was always trying new things. In fact, one attempt at creating a scene that involved blood and gore resulted in his mother finding bits of cherry pie oozing out of the kitchen cabinets for years! In his early teens, Spielberg made adventure films that he shot around his town. He used to charge 25 cents for admission to a home showing of his movies, while his sister sold popcorn. Even though reading was a challenge, he knew he was destined for more than detention hall.
When he speaks now about his dyslexia, he explains, “it is something that I have had since I was a child. It was not fun to go to elementary school and have other students and teachers not understand my reading problems. Today, [I have] accommodated my life to the challenges of dyslexia and I feel very proud of that. When you are a child you have to achieve a different balance when you find yourself to be dyslexic.”
Despite his difficulties in reading as a child, Spielberg has used his skills at imagining and creating to his advantage, becoming one of the world’s most famous movie directors of all time.