After years of being labeled a “slow-starter,” Joel McHale was finally diagnosed with dyslexia at the same time as one of his sons.
“So, my sons are also dyslexic,” McHale, 46, recently said of Isaac, 10, and Edward, 13, on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast. “One [of my sons] was being diagnosed and [the doctor] was describing all of the symptoms, and I was like, ‘That’s what I have.’”
The former “Community” star later learned that dyslexia can be inherited, which made sense because his father exhibited symptoms as well.
“He would never really admit it for a long time … He can’t remember names just like I can’t,” said McHale.
The diagnosis was a long time coming for the comedian. He struggled with the learning disorder — which is marked by difficulty with reading — during his hosting gig at “The Soup.”
“When I started ‘The Soup’ back in 2004, I was so anxious because I can’t really read, and I had to read teleprompter,” McHale revealed.
McHale also had to learn how to cope with the symptoms of dyslexia growing up, oftentimes turning to sports over school.
“I knew I was good at sports, and I knew I loved acting and performing, so I really dove into that, and school always became secondary,” explained McHale, who was forced to repeat grades. “I always excelled in sports, so I knew I had advantages there. That really gave me like confidence and self-esteem.”
But to the teachers who labeled him a “slow-starter,” McHale now has one thing to say — “[I] always thought [I] was going to show ’em.”
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