Learning disabilities are manifested in four forms associated with the four stages of information processing namely, input, assimilation, retention and output. The input stage is related to perception of information. Assimilation is related to interpretation of information. There can be problems in memorizing and retaining the things perceived, while the disability concerned with output is characterized by difficulties in retrieval and presentation of the retained information.
Causes of learning impairments can be genetic or environmental. But children with learning disabilities are characterized by some unusual abilities. A learning disability does not make a child less intelligent. It is just that he learns differently.
Albert Einstein showed learning disability. He was a 'below average' student at school. He could not speak until he was three and was weak in Math. He grew up to become one of the greatest Mathematicians. Other famous people with learning disabilities were Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. Edison found difficulty in reading until he was twelve and in writing, even after that.
It is believed that Leonardo Da Vinci, needless to say who he was, was dyslectic. Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Tom Cruise, Mozart and Robin Williams, who are enlisted as being famous in the field of art, have suffered learning disabilities. Lewis Carroll, famous for authoring 'Alice in Wonderland', suffered from a stammer in speech. George Bernard Shaw is reported to have had an Attention deficit disorder. Suzanne Somers, famous for her work in 'Three's company' was a poor student at school and was diagnosed of dyslexia. A relatively recent example of a learning disability is Phillip Manuel, a famous jazz vocalist who was identified of having AD/HD in the year 2000.
The very well-known Napoleon Bonaparte had to struggle with dyslexia. Winston Churchill, who is famous for leading Great Britain during World War II, suffered from speech impediment during his childhood. Woodrow Wilson did not learn the alphabet until an age of nine and was unable to read until an age of twelve. This shows that he probably had a learning disability.
We know of Jackie Stewart. He has described in his biography, his dyslexia. He has written about his inferiority complex at school and how he overcame it. Bruce Jenner, the world's greatest athlete as he was called, had fallen prey to learning disabilities.
Business Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, David Neeleman and Charles Schwab were dyslexics. Donald Winkler, defeating his dyslexia, inspired many to become successful.
The Indian movie, "Taarein Zameen Par", brought learning disabilities in children under the spotlight and served as guidance for parents about how they should react to children with such disabilities. Actor Aamir Khan was shown to illustrate the learning disabilities in some well-known people, thus rousing parents to realize the possibility of some unique talent to stem out of their kids. The movie also tries to comfort children with learning disabilities and here were some examples of some famous people who had learning disabilities when they were young.
These people with disabilities had one thing in common; the determination to succeed, rising above all odds. Feelings of shame, fear, depression and loneliness are usually observed in dyslexics, feelings that are not easy to handle. But these people have done that effectively. They have conquered not just their disability, but also the world!