At a glance
There are many examples of people who have dyslexia and are incredibly creative.
While there’s currently no evidence that proves people with dyslexia are naturally more creative than others, researchers are still studying this.
There are things you can do to nurture your child’s creativity.
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?
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.
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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About the author
About the author
Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.
Guinevere Eden, PhD is a professor at Georgetown University and director of its Center for the Study of Learning.