“Self-esteem is not an internal quality fed by easy success and diminished by failure. It is a positive way of experiencing yourself when you are fully engaged and are using your ability to the utmost in pursuit of something of value.” – Dr. Carol Dweck, Stanford University, Mindfulness

“…to do poorly in school is evidence of inability, and reason to despair of one’s worth”  – Dr. Martin Covington

“They were very tough times because I was really wondering if I was ever going to make it.” – Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary

Dr. Ben Burden was psychologist at the University of Exeter who was a pioneer in the exploration of self-concept and self-esteem in students with dyslexia. After interviewing hundreds of dyslexic primary and secondary school children about their school experiences, he found out that self-efficacy or a belief in one’s ability to succeed was just as important if not more important than early  identification and school remediation in terms of eventual life success.

Recently, Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” had a surprising show of emotion recalling his early challenges with dyslexia.  Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/161420719


It is not an accident, we think, that being told that dyslexia was his super power had such a profound effect on how O’Leary viewed himself and ultimately changed the course of his life. Our book, The Dyslexic Advantage provided a breakthrough for many people because the positive side of dyslexia is not shared enough with the people who need it most. For Premium members below, we’ll share parent and teacher tips for fostering self-efficacy and self-esteem in students with LD. The first 3 factors are: 1. Accurate perception of one’s strengths and weaknesses as a learner. 2. Strong belief in self-efficacy (I can do this). 3. Strong internal locus of control (I can control my life and am not controlled by my environment or fate).