It’s no secret that there are a ton of brilliant people with dyslexia. But is it possible to prove that one of the most famous minds of all time had it too?
For years, people have claimed that Albert Einstein may have had dyslexia. I’ve wondered about it as well. Although I’m not dyslexic, I do have and . And I have to admit, it’s tempting to think that the man who came up with the theory of relativity also had a learning difference.
But I’ve also been skeptical about the claim—as are many others. You can’t know for sure if someone has a learning difference without an evaluation. So you definitely can’t diagnose any issue in someone who’s passed away.
However, since there are a lot of people who think Einstein had dyslexia, I decided to find out why they think it’s true. And now, after doing some research, I have to say, I may be starting to believe it, too.
Here are four things people say that make me think Albert Einstein may have had dyslexia.
1. His speech was delayed.
Like many people with dyslexia, Einstein was a late talker. He didn’t start speaking comfortably until he was nearly 6 years old. In fact, that period of his early life is so well known that delayed speech in kids is sometimes called the Einstein Syndrome.
2. He may have had other dyslexia-related symptoms.
Some people say he struggled with reading aloud and with word retrieval. He also found it hard to express his thoughts and ideas in writing and may have struggled with foreign language, too.
3. He learned better in creative environments.
Many people with dyslexia thrive when they’re able to learn in a creative way. Einstein had a hard time at his elementary school. His classes relied heavily on memorization and rote learning. But he did very well after switching to a new school that encouraged creative thinking and learning.
4. He saw the world from a unique perspective.
People with learning differences naturally think outside the box. Albert Einstein was no exception. His ability to think creatively meant he came up with ideas that other scientists hadn’t imagined. Like, oh, I don’t know, maybe E = mc2!
Albert Einstein died in 1955. While his research is still helping us understand the universe today, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know for sure if he had dyslexia or not.
What's certain is that the people I know with dyslexia are some of the smartest, most creative and interesting people I've ever met. So I like to think that Einstein, one of the greatest thinkers in history, may have had it too.
Learn about more famous people with dyslexia—entrepreneurs, Oscar winners and elected officials.
And if you have a child with dyslexia, try this hands-on activity to uncover their strengths.
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About the author
About the author
Rae Jacobson, MS is a writer who focuses on ADHD and learning disabilities in women and girls.