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Entries in Dyslexia (1)

Thursday
Sep272012

Steven Spielberg Opens Up About His Dyslexia

VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Usually behind-the-scenes, filmmaker Steven Spielberg stepped in front of the camera for the first time to talk about his challenges with dyslexia and how he struggled for years with the undiagnosed learning disability.

It was just five years ago that Spielberg was properly diagnosed.  In a video for the website Friends of Quinn, the director explains how he "dealt with it by making movies."

The director is interviewed by Quinn Bradlee -- who also deals with learning disabilities and other physical ailments related to a condition called Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome, or VCFS, as documented in Quinn's memoir, A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures.

Spielberg reveals that as a child, it took him more than two years to learn how to read.  He says growing up in the 1950s before dyslexia was even a diagnosis was tough, especially during the junior high years.  According to Spielberg, his inability to read, particularly in class, caused a lot of bullying and mean treatment from his classmates and had school administrators mislabeling him as lazy.

Still, says Spielberg, "I never felt like a victim."  He says he banded together with a similarly quirky click of friends who also didn't quite fit in or played sports like other students.  It was this same group of friends that later became his inspiration for the 80s cult classic film The Goonies, which he produced and co-wrote.

Rather than feel like an outsider, Spielberg says, "Movies really helped me, kind of saved me from shame, from guilt, from putting it on myself...when it wasn't my burden." 

The super successful director goes on to say, "I think making movies was my great escape, it was how I could get away from all that."

Luckily, Spielberg's therapy of making films adds up to a bonus for the movie-going public.  His new movie, Lincoln, comes out on Nov. 9.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio