You know you are a mega-genius when your name is used as a synonym for intelligence. To be an “Einstein” is to be a genius. But could one of the most intelligent people known to humanity have had a learning disorder? Unlikely, right? Albert Einstein, one of the most gifted minds known to humanity, was born 140 years ago on March 14, 1879, in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. It may be hard to wrap our heads around this fact, but there’s a chance that Einstein had a learning disorder. If that’s true, the popularly-held notions about dyslexia and dyscalculia can be challenged.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, dyslexia is a learning disorder that specifically affects a person’s reading ability. People with dyslexia tend to read at a slower rate than the ones who don’t.
Although the symptoms vary from person to person, some of the common signs of dyslexia include slow reading, difficulty in pronouncing certain words, problems registering the sound of words, etc.
Some records suggest that Einstein struggled during his early school years. His verbal development was delayed, which means he didn’t start talking early. He started talking only when he was six.
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History.com states that he took the entrance examination for a polytechnic school in Zurich and flunked. While he passed in math, he fared miserably in botany, zoology and languages. Even his professors doubted him and weren’t sure he’d pass. This has led many to believe that he may have indeed been dyslexic in his youth.
But today, we know him for his path-breaking discoveries and contributions to the field of science. Even if he did have a learning disorder, Einstein did overcome his limitations.
Why is this knowledge important to us?
Dyslexic children are often not diagnosed. They are brushed off as dull students who are probably too dumb to comprehend anything. Misconceptions about the learning disorders also rife. Earlier, Indian PM Narendra Modi cracked a distasteful joke about dyslexia, when he used it as a jibe against political rival Rahul Gandhi.
Dyslexic children also grow up to develop low self-esteem, after being compared to their more academically-gifted peers. 10-Year-Old Writes a Beautiful Poem on Dyslexia Which Makes Sense Even if You Read From Bottom to Top!
But the truth is that dyslexics are not unintelligent. In fact, the International Dyslexia Association states that dyslexics have average to above average intelligence. Here's Everything about Dyslexia.
Einstein’s diagnosis of dyslexia is considered widely controversial. But if there is a grain of truth to it, it can boost the confidence of students who struggle with the learning disorders. The fact that someone with a learning disorder can figure out the theory of relativity, which is one of the most epoch-making findings of 20th Century physics, and the mass-energy equivalence, could not only give hope to children with dyslexia but also dispel misconceptions about the disorder.