Award-Winning Icon Shares Her Story of Growing Up With Dyslexia
NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2016 – The Child Mind Institute hosted the 13th Annual Adam Katz Memorial Conversation on Tuesday, featuring a candid and funny conversation between award-winning comedian, actress, human rights advocate and host of The View Whoopi Goldberg and Child Mind Institute President Dr. Harold Koplewicz. The event brought together more than 350 parents and educators at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College for an in-depth discussion about Goldberg’s struggles and triumphs living with dyslexia.
“To have an icon like Whoopi Goldberg speak up about her struggles with dyslexia is an inspiration to families around the world who face these same challenges,” said Dr. Koplewicz. “I know that her story will inspire others to get help.”
Ms. Goldberg, known for her noteworthy performances in such films as The Color Purple and Ghost, for which she won an Oscar, reflected on the difficulties she had in school because of her dyslexia, and praised her mother for her untiring support.
“What I remember about being a kid was that I felt pretty protected, I wasn’t afraid and I had a mother who understood after a while that there was something different about the way I learned things,” she told the crowd. “It takes people a little while to accept that something’s going on and it’s not that you’re being lazy. It’s not that you’re not trying.”
Ms. Goldberg also shared some examples of the techniques she’s discovered to overcome her dyslexia. She revealed that when she’s required to learn a new script, she enlists someone to read the lines out loud with her so she can memorize them. In addition, when writing a book, she dictates the book to an assistant and then afterward, in order to maintain her style and cadence, has it read back to her and then edits it.
The annual Adam Katz Memorial Conversation is designed to raise awareness and educate the public about mental health and learning disorders affecting families nationwide, and is part of the Child Mind Institute’s annual Speak Up for Kids campaign. This year’s Katz Conversation was co-sponsored by Understood.org, a nonprofit committed to helping children and families struggling with learning and attention issues. For those unable to attend, a live stream of the event was available, and was watched by 2000 people worldwide.
About the Adam Katz Memorial Conversation
The Adam Katz Memorial Conversation series began in 2002 in memory of Adam Katz, a young man who struggled with ADHD and dyslexia. The event attracts hundreds of New York clinicians, researchers, educators, parents and students. Past honorees include Lorraine Bracco (actress), Naomi Judd (singer), Brian Grazer (producer), Richard Engel (NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent), Trudie Styler (actress, producer and director), Ari Emanuel (CEO, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment), Paul Orfalea (founder, Kinko’s), Chuck Close (artist), Governor Gaston Caperton (past president, College Board), Barbara Corcoran (founder, Corcoran Real Estate Group).