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Steven Spielberg opens up about his fight with dyslexia

Jaclyn is an Idaho native who currently lives in Milwaukee. Having worked in radio, TV and as a newspaper reporter, she is an avid pop culture and news junkie. She also has a passion for photography and cooking (but is still learning to ...

His fight helped shape some of his movies

Steven Spielberg has decided to talk about the battle with dyslexia he has struggled with his whole life, and how it has made him a stronger person.

His fight helped shape some of his movies

It might be hard to believe one of the most successful directors in Hollywood has battled with a learning disability, but it's true. Steven Spielberg has decided to open up about his fight with dyslexia.

Spielberg sat down with Friends of Quinn, an organization that works to help people with what they call learning differences, or LDs, to talk about what he has been through and how it has made him a stronger person.

"When I felt like an outsider, movies made me feel inside my own skill set," he said.

The surprising thing is that even though Spielberg has faced dyslexia for years, he was only diagnosed a few years ago. This is because of the lack of awareness of dyslexia when he was growing up.

"While he wishes that there had been more awareness of LDs in the '50s, he acknowledges the impact of his supportive parents, who helped him endlessly with his studies, making sure he did as well as he possibly could in school," said Friends of Quinn.

It's also possible that dealing with dyslexia has helped him to become as successful as he is today. The director is responsible for such movies as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Schindler's List, The Color Purple, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

"I never felt like a victim," he said in the interview. "Movies really helped me ... kind of saved me from shame, from guilt, from putting it on myself, from making it my burden when it wasn't my burden. I think making movies was my great escape, it was how I could get away from all that."

Spielberg has tried to turn having dyslexia into a positive experience. In the interview, he said he knows in advance that it will take him twice as long as other people to read a book or script, but he turns the reading into a pleasurable experience instead of something he just has to get through. And it seems to have ended up being a good thing for all of his viewers, as he said he used his own differences as fodder for creating the characters in The Goonies.

Photo courtesy Ian Wilson/
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