How to find an inspirational superstar for your struggling learner

Jay Leno is an inspiration to many

When your child is struggling at school it can be overwhelming for parents.

You’ll be constantly seeking help from teachers, trying to keep them positive and knowing exactly where to start is extremely difficult.

There are remedial programs to consider, parent support groups to locate, constantly seeking help from teachers, finding tutors to help your child to catch up… all the while being mindful of your child’s state of mental health as they wrangle a system not designed for children who learn differently.

Sometimes the best place to start is by finding an inspirational superstar for your struggling learner.

“Identifying famous and successful people, who also have learning differences, a learning difficulty or a disability, can be the inspirational lifeline your child needs. Your struggling learner needs to know they can be successful, no matter how much hardship life throws at them, just like their inspirational superstar.”

It isn’t hard to find inspiration, it’s everywhere, especially on the internet. With a computer and an internet connection, you can search and find a variety of inspirational people and their stories.

You know your child best, so with a few quick questions, it should be possible to identify who might be the right inspirational person to focus on.

Inspiration comes in many forms. It might not necessarily be someone who has a learning difficulty or disability but could simply be someone who has achieved great things despite having enormous challenges.

Here are some to get your research started…

Nick Vujicic
Source: Flickr/ Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic, a man born without limbs is incredibly inspirational. Despite his disability, he has achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, is a world-renowned guest speaker, has travelled to over 60 countries, written a book and also made a movie and a documentary. He is also married with children and a devoted Christian. Two of my favourite quotes from Nick are;


“Change your attitude, change your life.”


“Fear is the biggest disability of them all. It will paralyse you more than being in a wheelchair.”

Richard Branson
Source: Flickr/ Chatham House

Richard Branson as we all know is
Dyslexic, but it hasn’t let
that stop him from becoming
extremely successful and achieving
many amazing things.
In the foreword of my book
Helping Children With Dyslexia,
he wrote:


“It is important as a dyslexic that you don’t spend energy worrying about what you can’t do – but instead figure out what you can do and make sure you do it well. I truly believe being dyslexic can be turned into a blessing.
Make the most of what you have.”

Whoopie Goldberg
Source: David Shankbone

There are a great many actors and celebrities, who identify as being dyslexic. They talk about how difficult their school lives were; Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Jay Leno, Orlando Bloom and Henry Winkler are just some to name a few.

Jamie Oliver, an amazing chef and celebrity, is also dyslexic but has a hugely successful career. He has written books, had his own television shows, has owned a number of restaurants, has made documentaries
and appeared on a variety of radio and television programs.

In interviews, Jamie talks about being in special needs classes for 5 years and being thought of as dumb. He never took much notice, it never bothered him he says;

“School just wasn’t my place to shine.”

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie, a prolific author of
66 mystery novels and 14 short story
collections is also dyslexic.
Her stories have been translated into at least
100 languages and her novels have sold
about 4 billion copies.

In her words:

“Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me.
I was… an extraordinarily bad speller
and have remained so.”

Famous movie director Steven Spielberg, possibly one of the best directors of modern times is also dyslexic. He has directed more than 60 movies, many of which have been hugely successful. He says movies saved him and is quoted as saying when he found out he was dyslexic;

“It was the last puzzle part in a tremendous mystery that I’ve kept to myself all these years.”

Carl Lewis
Source: Manfred Werner

There is also a list of very successful athletes that are reported to be dyslexic; Muhammad Ali (Boxer), Tim Tebow (NFL Quarterback), Magic Johnson (Basketball player), Nolan Ryan (Baseball player), Carl Lewis (Olympian sprinter), Greg Louganis (Olympic diver), Meryl Davis (Olympic ice skater) and Steve Redgrave (Olympic rower) just to name a few.

I hope I have encouraged you to find your child’s very own inspirational superstar.

Now we want to know (if you already know) who is your child’s inspirational superstar.

Leave us a comment below.

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