Is there any correlation between dyslexia and intelligence?

I think I've heard that many successful entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists are dyslexic. Is that just a coincidence, or does dyslexia occur more often in people with high IQs?

Answers

Nedda Gilbert, MSW, Educational Consultant, and Author

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The association between intelligent and successful entrepreneurs, artists and scientists and having dyslexia, (or other learning disabilities) is made for several reasons.

First, these individuals proudly and publicly proclaim they have dyslexia as if to say, see I'm not dumb! See I made it! The best revenge is success! Unfortunately, growing up with dyslexia can make a child feel they're doomed or inferior in some way. That's because the measure of success in a school setting is not ideal for someone with dyslexia where the emphasis is on reading and writing.

Feelings of inferiority can persist through to adulthood. So it 's important these well-known individuals celebrate their accomplishments against the odds and inspire others. Again, some of this may stem from the low self-esteem and challenges that come from trying to prosper in a world where having dyslexia and a learning disability can feel like a roadblock to normalcy or success.

Secondly, you will note that the above professions - entrepreneurship, acting, science - are all fields in which individual talents - not how well one fits in - are rewarded. In another answer on this topic, I suggested that finding freer, less structured and creative environments in which to contribute may be what allows individuals with dyslexia to leave their mark. Working in more traditional jobs or organizations may exacerbate problems.

Finally, dyslexia and learning disabilities often force individuals to compensate and become creative and resourceful. As one of the experts in this thread pointed out, there are advantages to this. Outside of school (where dyslexia can feel very defining), the real world of work and life presents opportunities to engage those massive creative skills. Misspelled, misstated and misfired words become trivial or minor distractions to the far more monumental accomplishments of these individuals.

Jamie Martin, Assistive Technology Consultant for Students and Adults with Dyslexia

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As Lisa Friedman pointed out, there is scientific evidence to support the idea that dyslexia is an unexpected reading difficulty not related to a person's intelligence. A dyslexic person with a high IQ can certainly struggle with decoding even basic text, or he may need to rely on assistive technology to put his thoughts in writing.

According to Brock and Fernette Eide, there can be a correlation between dyslexia and creativity. In their book, The Dyslexic Advantage, they outline what they've termed MIND strengths, which are often present in people with dyslexia. Noodle expert Jules Csillag outlines these strengths in this article and gives examples of how they likely led well-known artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs to great success.

Lisa Friedman, Inclusive Educator, Religious School Director, writer & speaker

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Hi. There is no correlation between intelligence (IQ) and Dyslexia. There is lots of research to support this, but here is a very compelling piece of research from Yale that supports this fact: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/Research_IQReading.html

You are correct that there are many entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, etc. who have Dyslexia, but I do not believe that there is any evidence to support this number being statistically greater than the average.

Earl Andrews, I am Dyslexic

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   I started studying law at 4 years old, by listening to radio shows on that old tube type radio. When I went to 1-3 school I was considered retarded. In my second year of third grade I had a teacher that went t a catholic school and took Latin. When she went to law school she minored in Latin. She went for a teaching degree, so she could get married.  It turns out that I was speaking Latin and English. Miss Jackson turned my life around! She could understand me very well. After that I had another teacher (4) that told my parents that they should watch me. She thought that I was a genius. 
   I am now a Private Attorney General in Arkansas. I have no rivals in court or on the street when it comes to law, I can also repair almost anything. I have been Dyslexic sense before 4 years old. I am also blessed that I can speak to GOD and that HE speaks to me, and I can't understand why others cannot do the same! Particularly Preachers. I also have A-negitive blood, and I have the ability to produce electricity, and cannot ware a watch. 
  Do all dyslexic fellows and dames, have A-negitive blood?
Earl Andrews, I am Dyslexic

User avatar for Earl Andrews

   I started studying law at 4 years old, by listening to radio shows on that old tube type radio. When I went to 1-3 school I was considered retarded. In my second year of third grade I had a teacher that went t a catholic school and took Latin. When she went to law school she minored in Latin. She went for a teaching degree, so she could get married.  It turns out that I was speaking Latin and English. Miss Jackson turned my life around! She could understand me very well. After that I had another teacher (4) that told my parents that they should watch me. She thought that I was a genius. 
   I am now a Private Attorney General in Arkansas. I have no rivals in court or on the street when it comes to law, I can also repair almost anything. I have been Dyslexic sense before 4 years old. I am also blessed that I can speak to GOD and that HE speaks to me, and I can't understand why others cannot do the same! Particularly Preachers. I also have A-negitive blood, and I have the ability to produce electricity, and cannot ware a watch. 
  Do all dyslexic fellows and dames, have A-negitive blood?

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