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Seeing the Big Picture on the Field

So the Super Bowl was shockingly unexciting…even if you are a Seahawks fan, my guess is that you still thought it was a relatively lackluster game. Regardless, congratulations to all your Seahawks fans! But what is shockingly very exciting is Red Bryant, Seattle’s defensive end.

Red Bryant has overcome many obstacles in his life, one being dyslexia. He grew up thinking he was dumb, hated school, and was told he would never graduate. He is now the only person in his family who has graduated from college.

“I recall growing up, people telling me I wasn’t going to achieve anything, lot of people said I wouldn’t graduate,’’ said Bryant, who to this day at times writes things backwards and has trouble pronouncing certain words. “I definitely take pride in telling younger people how important your education is. If I can do it I believe anybody can do it.’’

Most athletes will tell you that their dyslexia is actually an advantage in the game. According to research, the neural regions that show creativity, visual memory, and spatial awareness are all heightened in individuals with dyslexia. This gives them the ability to see the “big picture” on and off the field, track, ring, or court. Not a bad advantage right?

With busy schedules, tutoring, etc., it’s very important for parents to make sports a priority for their kids with dyslexia, especially if it is something they truly love. It levels the playing field and allows them to be just like every other kid; or if they show extreme talent, then it allows them a time and a place to be truly great at something, unlike the classroom, which is often a negative place for them. It’s a self-esteem boost!

Some famous athletes are: Bruce Jenner, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Tim Tebow, Jeremy Bonderman, Jason Conley, Franke Gore, Neil Smith, Vince Lombardi, Jackie Stewart, and the list goes on.

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