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Steve McQueen: Overcoming His Shame of Dyslexia

Categories: Learning Disabilities

Steve McQueen Shame of DyslexiaIn a lengthy interview with The Guardian, Steve McQueen, the award-winning British director whose most recent film, 12 Years a Slave, is making big waves, discussed his childhood and revealed that dyslexia had a large impact on his education and self-esteem. At 13, McQueen was taken out of the mainstream classroom and put in a special remedial class. Sadly, his dyslexia went unrecognized and unaccommodated. Throughout his adolescence, McQueen never sought help for his difficulties with reading because he feared the judgement he assumed would accompany the label. Publicly addressing his dyslexia for the first time, McQueen said, "I've never said this before, ever. But I was dyslexic. And I've hidden it, because I was so ashamed. I thought it meant I was stupid." [caption id="attachment_22863" align="alignleft" width="270"]Still shot from McQueen's most recent film, McQueen's most recent film, "12 Years a Slave."[/caption] Fortunately, McQueen had a talent for drawing and was able to attend an art college, and later break into the film industry. However, he rightly believes that he and the millions of other children who go through school with unidentified dyslexia could have achieved more with the proper assistance. "School was painful because I just think that loads of people, so many beautiful people, didn't achieve what they could achieve because no one believed in them, or gave them a chance, or invested any time in them. School was scary for me because no one cared, and I wasn't good at it because no one cared." Read the full interview with Steve McQueen from 'The Guardian'.