VCU researcher co-authors book examining extraordinary success of people with dyslexia

VCU researcher co-authors book examining extraordinary success of people with dyslexia

A new book co-authored by a Virginia Commonwealth University professor offers the first in-depth look at how people with dyslexia and other learning disabilities (LD) achieve high levels of success.

In “Leaders, Visionaries and Dreamers: Extraordinary People with Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities,” Paul J. Gerber, Ph.D., the VCU School of Education Ruth Harris Professor of Dyslexia Studies, and Marshall H. Raskind, Ph.D., look at 12 incredible people with LD and dyslexia whose lives are characterized by major accomplishments and contributions that they have made in their respective fields as well as on the contemporary American scene.

These men and women are from a variety of fields, such as arts and literature, science, politics and sports. Included are individuals such as Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California; Gaston Caperton, former governor of West Virginia and former chief executive officer of the College Board; Jack Horner, a paleontologist and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the genius grant); Chuck Close, one of America’s preeminent visual artists; actor Henry Winkler; and financier Charles Schwab.

The book explores a myriad of underlying dynamics of accomplishment to give the reader a thematic view of LD and dyslexia by hearing the voices of those included in the book.

“We found that academic struggles are not necessarily an indicator for failure in adulthood,” Gerber said. “With passion and capitalization on strengths, one can have a reasonable chance for achieving success.”

The content was derived from extensive interviews and is presented in a reader-friendly format from what has been gleaned from research and the prevailing wisdom in this area over the past 25 years.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

About the VCU School of Education

The VCU School of Education combines forward-thinking research, instruction from renowned teachers, and real-world learning experiences to prepare students for a meaningful career that will help them shape the future of education. With 64 full-time instructional faculty, 100 research faculty, and more than $25 million in funded research, the School of Education is among the top research schools in the country, and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 20 public graduate programs in education.
Paul J. Gerber, Ph.D.
Paul J. Gerber, Ph.D.