Dyslexia and creativity: What you need to know

You may have heard people talk about a link between dyslexia and creativity. Research has shown that people with dyslexia do have differences in brain wiring compared to others. But do those differences make them more creative?

Learn more about a possible connection between dyslexia and creativity.

Research on dyslexia and creativity

The Oxford English Dictionary defines creativity as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.” There are many people with dyslexia, famous and not, who fit that definition. But is their creativity related to their dyslexia?

So far, there’s no reliable data showing that people with dyslexia are more creative than other people. Researchers are studying this topic, however. Some of the questions they’re looking to answer include:

  • Is there any difference between people with and without dyslexia in terms of creativity?

  • Do the factors that make reading difficult have other effects? Do they lead to greater creative strengths?

  • Does the experience of having dyslexia lead people toward creative activities? Do they do things that build creative thinking, whether they choose to on their own or are encouraged to?

If you look at the number of artists, musicians, actors, and authors with dyslexia, it’s easy to think there’s a connection between dyslexia and creativity. So far there’s been very little research on this topic, and scientists are looking for solid evidence of a link.

Entrepreneurship and dyslexia

A number of well-known entrepreneurs have dyslexia. Does that mean having dyslexia makes you more likely to start and run a successful business?

Some studies suggest that dyslexia is more common among entrepreneurs than among corporate managers. But more research is needed to conclude that there’s a link between dyslexia and entrepreneurship. One area researchers need to explore is whether other factors, like , play a role. (ADHD frequently co-occurs with dyslexia.)

Watch a tattoo artist and fashion vlogger describe her experiences growing up with dyslexia.

Visual-spatial processing and dyslexia

Some people with reading issues report that they’re drawn to the visual arts and to fields like architecture and design. That’s led some people to speculate that people with dyslexia have better visual-spatial skills than people who don’t have it.

There are studies that have looked into this issue. But a 2016 review of 36 peer-reviewed publications concluded that there’s “little evidence to support spatial advantages.”

Encouraging creativity in your child

As researchers continue to study dyslexia and creativity, there are things you can do to support and nurture your child’s creativity. Encourage your child to explore and develop interests. Learn more about types of strengths in kids, and download a hands-on activity to identify your child’s strengths. And hear how a teen with dyslexia and other learning differences found confidence through art.

Key takeaways

  • Many musicians, authors, actors, entrepreneurs, and other creative people have dyslexia.

  • Researchers are still looking into possible connections between dyslexia and creativity.

  • Exploring strengths and interests can help support your child’s creativity.


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