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P.O. Box 8943
Calabasas, CA 91372


The International Dyslexia Association, Los Angeles Branch is a non-profit organization that serves Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and parts of Orange County. The Los Angeles County Branch is dedicated to stimulating awareness and understanding of dyslexia, to establish and promote the treatment of dyslexia and to give support to dyslexics and their families. Our purpose is accomplished through many free or low cost community programs by a group of hard working volunteers.






Lainie Donnell

The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom, by Louis Cozolino (Norton, 2013)

Neuroscience proves that the brain is primarily a social organ that develops best in close, secure contact with others.  Cozolino explains how supportive, caring relationships in low-stress environments stimulate a child’s neural circuitry to learn.  This starts in infancy with parents or caregivers and continues during a child’s experience with teachers in school.  The author investigates what the best teachers do to stimulate the minds of even the most “unteachable” students and along the way lends hope to parents and teachers of challenging children everywhere.


Elizabeth Lutsky

Like many individuals with learning differences, children and adults with dyslexia are at risk for developing low self-esteem, especially in a society that often misunderstands the diagnosis and associates reading and writing fluency with intelligence or success. The good news is that having family members and teachers who are positive, patient and supportive, goes a long way toward counteracting this phenomenon. Families and teachers who intervene early to support dyslexic children academically and emotionally are giving these children the best chance of developing a positive self-concept throughout their lives. The inverse is true as well. If a child is neither understood nor supported, he or she may develop anxiety and depression that will further disrupt an already difficult learning process.


Parental support may include helping a child find and develop an area of deep interest that matches his or her strengths. A child can learn to rely on his or her expertise to counteract insecurity about learning difficulties. Parents may also need to stay involved longer than anticipated when their dyslexic child enters early adulthood. The transition between the teens and 20s is a period of great change when a person with dyslexia may struggle with finding the right career, adapting to increased demands of work and independent living, and continuing to cope with an invisible disability that is often misperceived by others. Ongoing love, guidance and encouragement during this time can make a world of difference.


Lainie Donnell

The ability to delegate, strong verbal communication skills, a grasp of the big picture, persistence, and openness to being mentored are some of the traits characterizing successful dyslexic entrepreneurs.

According to Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, dyslexia can be as much an asset as it is a challenge.   Many successful dyslexic entrepreneurs employ creative strategies in their business dealings that they learned in childhood to compensate for difficulties with written communication and organization. These strategies may even give them an edge over competitors.

Julie Logan, professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass School of Business in London, published a 2007 study in which she found that over a third of US entrepreneurs surveyed self reported as dyslexic.  That’s an interesting statistic that may suggest being dyslexic is an asset in the world of start up companies. Some examples of high profile business successes with dyslexia come to mind, like brokerage innovator Charles Schwab and Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways.

What follows are 5 strategies used by successful dyslexic entrepreneurs:

1. Delegating

The ability to delegate helps successful dyslexics compensate for their deficits. Dyslexic entrepreneurs also hire more staff than non-dyslexics. These strategies translate an edge in business, because delegating to a larger staff leads to quicker growth and the ability to own several companies at once.


2. Verbal Communication Skills

Being able to network, express a vision and motivate others is essential to a business’s success. Dyslexics in Logan’s study perceived themselves as better oral communicators than non-dyslexics. Many learned early on to compensate for their lack of writing ability with heightened verbal communication skills.


3. Grasp of the Big Picture

Some dyslexic entrepreneurs, like Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinkos, and John Chambers of Cisco Systems, claim they have the ability to quickly grasp the big picture, rather than getting bogged down in details. This enables them to build companies with a broad perspective in mind.


4. Persistence

Successful dyslexics have learned to be persistent and to solve problems in new ways, even when things don’t come easily. This quality can spell success for an entrepreneur.


5. Link to a Mentor

The impact of a mentor is often key to influencing a dyslexic individual to become an entrepreneur. The mentor may be anyone who takes a genuine interest and refuses to give up, including parents (particularly fathers), tutors, coaches and other business people.