Summoning Up the Spirits from the Vast Deep: LD and Giftedness in Historic Persons

Part of the Neuropsychology and Cognition book series (NPCO, volume 25)


In this chapter, we present evidence gleaned from a variety of sources to show that some talented individuals from the historic past had learning disabilities (LD). The coexistence of talent and LD ceases to be a paradox if the ability to decode printed words and spell them is considered to be a skill that is independent of higher-level cognitive functions such as linguistic comprehension. We call this proposition the Component model of the reading process. After presenting the rationale of the Component model, we examine relevant information available on six famous historic persons—two inventors, two artists, and two literary figures—for evidence of LD. The practical implications of this investigation are that teachers should be careful not to generalize and evaluate intellectual abilities of individuals on the basis of their performances on skill-based tasks such as word recognition, spelling, and grammar.


Learning Disability Poor Reader Reading Disability Learning Disability Learn Disability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M UniversityUSA

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