Why ADHD & Dyslexia are Advantages (NOT disabilities)

Nov 18, 2019

Leah Remillét

I got an email from a mama in tears. I could instantly feel her heartache as she shared about her son and his experience with ADHD.

Her email was in response to this post/newsletter on why I fail so well. I sited my dyslexia as a reason why you will inevitably find many typos and errors if you stay with me for any period of time. But I shared that Dyslexia has also been a blessing to me. My hope is that you will see past my typos and instead recognize all that I have to give and offer you, as well as see the fact that not despite, but rather because of my Dyslexia, I have been able to build 4 very successful umbrellas under my company – Leah Remillét International Inc. The first was a 6-figure photography business and the second was a 7-figure course that taught a business model I developed after building my own business, called The Thrive Business Model. The third was a coaching and speaking business, which has given me opportunities to travel and speak all over the US and into the UK sharing my message. And my latest project, and the one that I hope will be my lasting legacy: The CEO Kid, an online business academy that teaches kids how to have their own entrepreneurial adventures while instilling in them success principles that will bless them for life!

Back to this email… I know this mama is not alone, and so, with her permission, I want to share her email to me and my response back.

Hi Leah!

 I’m a small business owner (photographer) and I’ve been struggling so much lately with all the things! My husband and I are the parents to 4 incredible kids, one of which has ADHD and really struggles in school. I rarely open, read, and digest so many emails but this one was really important to me. I cried as I read it and re-read it to my 7-year-old. Because of his ADHD, he is often told that he’s “dumb” by classmates. It hurts me so much to know that my brilliant, funny, compassionate, and intelligent child feels like he’s dumb and like he, “doesn’t have a good brain like big brother” when I know that he does.
He’s incredible and I read this entire email to him just to reassure him that sometimes, brilliant and successful people come from a deep struggle too. I explained who you were and how successful you are in life. I told him that you’re happy and have a great life and that your dyslexia is a blessing, I then did what I’ve never thought to do and listed out how great his ADHD was and all of the fun he gets to have because of it.
Anyway, I don’t mean to ramble while I cry and type but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for writing this email. Thank you for being open, honest, and raw about yourself and your struggles. But most of all, thank you for letting a frantic mom of 4 see the blessing behind a diagnosis that has made life difficult and now, thanks to you, much more positive in my perspective and hopefully his too.
Jailyn

 

I loved this email. It touched me deeply. While I normally wouldn’t share what comes into my inbox, I decided to this time in case I can help anyone else who needs to hear this!

 

Dear Jailyn,

Thank you so much for your email, it meant so much to me!

ADHD and Dyslexia are often given a negative stigma, but I’d encourage you to think about who gives it those stigmas. Not people who have it, I mean, none of us loved it when we were in school, but most of us have come to appreciate what it has made us as adults! In my opinion, usually, it’s people who don’t have it and therefore don’t understand it. Did it make my school years harder? Most certainly yes! But I can tell you, I wouldn’t change that for anything now. Dyslexia has made me resourceful and creative, and those are two ingredients that are critical for success. 

There is a list a mile long of people with Dyslexia and ADHD, and they make up some of the most successful and admired people on the planet! I want your son to know that these learning differences haven’t held them back; they’ve propelled them! That’s because creativity is the hallmark of success and genius, and those with learning differences have it in spades.

It took me a long time to read. In fact, I probably didn’t read more than 5 real chapter books before I was 21. I thought I was terrible at reading, and I thought I wasn’t smart enough. I was wrong – I just hadn’t found what interested me. Your kiddo has a super-power storehouse of creativity, but it won’t be unleashed until he gets to explore things that interest and fascinate him and it’s going to be in his time, which is awesome! I now finish, on average, 1.25 books a week. As of today, I’ve already read 63 books this year, but I can tell you that I would have NEVER believed that could be possible when I was in second grade and being teased in “reading circle.” I thought I wanted to grow up so I’d never have to read again; it turns out, I just hadn’t found the right subject yet.


Here are just seven examples of brilliant creative people with Dyslexia or ADHD that I wanted to share with your son:

  1. Steven Spielberg – School administrators thought he was lazy, kids bullied him, it wasn’t until movies allowed him a creative outlet that the world started to understand how brilliant he was/is.
  2. Justin Timberlake – my husband’s man crush and arguably one of the most versatile and show-stopping entertainers today. (ADHD)
  3. Michael Phelps – did you know that the winner of the most Olympic Medals ever also has ADHD! Pretty Cool! 
  4. Ingvar Kamprad – you may not know his name, but I bet you have something from his company in your house. He is the founder of IKEA. His being Dyslexic is one of the reasons that Ikea instructions have pictures! 
  5. Sir Richard Branson – One of the richest men in the world, his incredible creativity and ability to think outside the box have bought him his own private island. And he has dyslexia. 
  6. Jim Carry – who I believe has used his ADHD and Dyslexia to make millions and millions of us laugh as well as put millions in his bank account! 
  7. Charles Schwab – who is worth billions with a B, and he made his fortune through financial planning. Despite spending his education struggling, he has turned those struggles into fuel and is now a household name when it comes to money.

 

And I hadn’t even mentioned Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Walt Disney, or Michael Jordan who ALL have/had ADHD!

I hope this list will inspire your son and help him to realize that this is not something in him that is bad – in fact, I believe that this will be his super-power if he lets it!

And to you, mama… Just keep being the amazing mom you obviously are. Keep encouraging and supporting him and telling him how brilliant he is! One day, the entire world will see what you always knew! 

xo,
Leah 

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