Star Wars - Don't let Dyslexia hold you back from success!

Of course at this time of year there is only one thing on people's minds.  It is of course....Star Wars! Well at least, it is this year anyway!

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Star Wars - The Force Awakens

So I got thinking about the upcoming film which is on release in a few days and which of the actors were perhaps Dyslexic.

To my surprise, I found out that Harrison Ford is living with Dyslexia.

Click here to go to Jennifer Slaight's website
A great photo of Harrison Ford courtesy of the Jennifer K Slaight, Dyslexia Specialist , New Jersey,US

The Internet Movie Database page on Harrison Ford states that he was a lackluster student at Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge Illinois rarely getting above a grade C for his work.

I wanted to highlight Harrison Ford's experience because whilst most of us are not famous film stars, there are lots of students in schools that are 'lackluster students' rarely getting beyond a grade C.  For some of them, the situation improves because it turns out that they were dyslexic and have access to support, for others, they are not so fortunate, and end up going through the whole education system struggling with Dyslexia and perhaps not being given the opportunity to meet their academic potential.

Here are some quotes from Harrison Ford about his life....

'The kindest word to describe my performance in school was Sloth.'

'I wanted to be a forest ranger or a coal man. At a very early age, I knew I didn't want to do what my dad did, which was work in an office.'

I personally work with young people in a voluntary capacity to support them in the development of their career direction.  One of the key messages in my work is to get students to understand themselves better, find out what their own personal values are and to dream about how they would like to feel in their career rather than focus on what they want to be.  By doing this, they can then judge career opportunities against these key parts of their lives rather than by what might seem logical or what other people think they should do.

In my research on Harrison Ford, all the quotes and interviews I have found about him suggest that whilst school was difficult for him, he is a man who knows what he doesn't want in life and puts the effort into what is important to him and not necessarily other people.  By doing this we can then start to work out what help we need to get ourselves through challenges that we are faced with due to dyslexia.

My advice to teachers and parents of ANY student and not just the dyslexic ones?  Give the students space to work out what is important to them and help them about how being at school can help them to honour that and lead a satisfying and thrilling life.