Whenever I meet someone who is creative, artistic, or moving through life to the beat of a somewhat different drum, I wonder what it was like to be that person’s mother. Just in case you are, indeed, the parent of a child who might experience the world a bit differently than most, I thought you would find it reassuring to learn a little bit about some of the world’s most famous ‘dreamers’.

Thomas Edison, brilliant scientist and inventor, was thrown out of school at age 12 because he was terrible at math and unable to focus. His teacher said, ‘he was too stupid to learn anything.’

Pablo Picasso, whose paintings sell for millions of dollars, had a very difficult time in school and was labeled dyslexic.

Leonardo Da Vinci, internationally renowned inventor, scientist, engineer, painter and sculptor, had ADD.

Robert Frost, poet laureate, was expelled from school for chronic daydreaming.

Winston Churchill, England’s famous prime minister, had to repeat a grade in elementary school.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4 and could not read until he was 7 years old. One of his teachers described him as ‘mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams.’

A newspaper editor fired a young man named Walt Disney, because ‘he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.’

What are all these stories telling us?


Worry a little bit less when your child isn’t keeping up with other people’s expectations. Love and accept your kids exactly the way they are and look for opportunities to appreciate their gifts and talents.

Imagine them happy and enjoying life as they march to the beat of their own drum.

And don’t forget to love yourself too!

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