Pushing the limit
Despite his disadvantage, Smith wrote a business plan and started a business. He chose to the more difficult path, pushing past every limit his disorder offered him.
Smith started a business that would help others like him. He founded a software company called Brainbook, which created Dyslexia Toolbox, a multi-faceted mobile app designed to help with areas where those with dyslexia struggle. The app adjusts font style, color, size, letter order, dates, and general organization. It's an immensely helpful app for students and adults struggling with the day-to-day challenges of dyslexia.
Problem solving skills
Smith has given TedxYouth talks where discusses both the challenge and the opportunity that dyslexia offers him. In a Huffington Post article, he says he chooses to run with his strengths, while not letting his weaknesses hold him back.
“The greatest thing about having dyslexia," he says, "is our impeccable problem-solving skills which can be uncanny to some people. In my mind, I know exactly how to go forward and how other industries need to move and this is proven as I have been ‘project managing’ for a failing business recently to simply problem solve and get it running."
Parents have a unique challenge of teaching their children to persevere through challenges and difficulty with the confidence that perseverance actually works. To do so, they both need to build up the prerequisite skills a child needs and promote positive role models of others persevering in the face of difficulty and choosing to face the task that is difficult.
As you search for role models, include Smith's amazing story, and maybe see yourself or your child excelling even in the face of adversity.