Max Brooks can tell you everything you need to know about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Fans of his book The Zombie Survival Guide and his book and movie World War Z line up for autographs and selfies with him wherever he goes. Even the U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. Army have turned to him for real-life military strategy and disaster preparedness. Why? Because he’s a self-described “big-picture, outside-the-box thinker.”
So when Brooks went to Capitol Hill recently to talk about how to help children with , lawmakers’ ears perked up. Testifying before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Brooks shared his own experience of living with dyslexia. He spoke about the anxiety and low self-esteem it caused him. “I’ve spent the last 30 years unlearning the lessons that dyslexia taught me: that society has no use for me. How many other people were taught that lesson by ignorant teachers and bullying classmates?”
Raising public awareness is important to Brooks. He said that if people know the science of dyslexia, that it’s real and treatable, that could unlock the potential in children. He noted that many kids with dyslexia think they’re losers because they can’t read. “These are the creative thinkers—the engineers of what we used to call Yankee ingenuity.”
Brooks further urged Congress to make mandatory dyslexia training part of all teacher training. “If we already have mandatory racial sensitivity training for our police, why not have mandatory dyslexia recognition training for our teachers?” he asked. He told members of Congress that fixing teacher training is “one of the few problems you face as a member of Congress that you can solve easily and simply.”
Brooks is the son of comedian Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft. He’s also among a host of celebrities who have spoken publicly about their learning and thinking differences.
Any opinions, views, information and other content contained in blogs on Understood.org are the sole responsibility of the writer of the blog, and do not necessarily reflect the views, values, opinions or beliefs of, and are not endorsed by, Understood.
Tell us what interests you
About the author
About the author
Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for