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Did Walt Have Dyslexia?

Discussion in 'Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Mouse' started by General Grizz, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. General Grizz

    General Grizz New Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    Likes Received:
    From WaltDisney.Com (http://disney.go.com/disneyatoz/waltdisney/specialexhibits/spotlighton/spotlighton0803.html):


    Experts about dyslexia are learning more and more about this problem and ways to treat it. It's clear that while dyslexics have difficulties learning to read, they are often very bright - even extraordinary.

    The cover story in the July 28 issue of Time Magazine thoroughly and articulately gives readers a solid understanding of the current state of understanding about dyslexia. It points to a number of "role models," who are dyslexic including Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg and Jay Leno.

    Why are we mentioning this in the Walt Disney Family Museum? Because Walt Disney is also on Time Magazine's list of prominent dyslexics. And there's a problem with that. Walt was not dyslexic.

    Says Dave Smith, Director of the Walt Disney Archives, "There is no indication anywhere in Walt's history that he ever had dyslexia, either in his childhood or during his business career."

    dys-lex-ia\ n: "an affliction affecting a person's ability to read, usually associated with a mental process that causes distorted perceptions of letters and words."

    The reputable biographies of Walt make no reference to his having dyslexia. He never made reference to any difficulty reading and he wrote fluidly. His difficulties in school - which may have led one to think there was some kind of learning disability - were almost certainly tied to fatigue. From age ten on, Walt was up before dawn delivering newspapers before school. What's more, he had a variety of other jobs that took his time and kept him from concentrating on schoolwork.

    In fact, had Walt suffered from this syndrome, the Family Museum would happily boast about the fact, and make certain that he was a known role model for young people battling with the obstacles dyslexia can present.

    Walt spells out the details on Disneyland to his trusted circle of advisors.

    But given the number of myths that exist about Walt, it is nonetheless disturbing to witness yet another one entering the public mind. We called Time, and asked how they reached their conclusion. The short answer: The magazine assembled already-published lists of people with dyslexia. Then they did an Internet search of those people, and where they found any refutation of this idea (as with Albert Einstein) they took them out of the list. The remainder, they assumed, had dyslexia.

    To be sure, there are scores of references on the Internet that link Walt and dyslexia. Many are from respectable organizations. But repetition without refutation is hardly a sign of anything other than widespread ignorance.

    It is an honor of sorts that these groups want to claim Walt as a role model. But, honor or not, it doesn't make it true. And one of the primary goals of the Family Museum is helping to obliterate myths - even complimentary ones - about Walt Disney, in order to preserve the truth about the man and his legacy.
  2. FigmentJedi

    FigmentJedi Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2003
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    Or as I said in my bio riddle for my project on Walt: "Some people think I had dyslexia, but you'd have trouble in school too if you had to deliver newspapers at 3 in the morning."
  3. 77johnson77

    77johnson77 Member

    Feb 26, 2004
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    Hahaha so true, so true
  4. Woody13

    Woody13 New Member

    Oct 30, 2002
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    Yeah, but you have to admit it's a little suspicious when he sometimes allowed his name to be spelled, "Yensid Retlaw".:lol: That's how the rumors got started!

    "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories" #94 in "Dalt Wisney" (Big Bad Wolf poses as the famous director Dalt Wisney in an attempt to eat the Three Little Pigs and Chicken Little - July 1948)."

    Walt, of course, did this on purpose. It was just part of his whimsy.

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