James Van Der Beek won’t let a learning disorder prevent his dreams from becoming a reality.
It’s no secret that the actor has found huge success in and out of Hollywood after starring in Dawson’s Creek, Mercy and more hit projects. But what some fans may not know is that the proud dad and husband is also dyslexic.
James decided to partner with The Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign to end the stigma of mental health and learning disorders. In the process, he may have inspired a whole lot of fans with his personal story.
“You’d think that words wouldn’t really be my thing and yet, they are. I have committed an entire career to writing them, to reading them out loud in front of people to memorizing them and reciting them back in front of many other people and if I could say one thing to my younger self, it would be have fun with it,” he shared in a new video obtained by E! News. “You know you aren’t stupid so don’t ever believe for a second that you are.”
James continued, “All of that work that you’re going to have to do, all that mental gymnastics that you’re going to have to do to make the connections that other people seem to make effortlessly, that’s going to wake up other parts of your brain. They are going to allow you to have ideas. They are going to seem crazy to other people, but those ideas are going to be what sets you apart. There’s a reason why a lot of other really creative people are dyslexic.”
Throughout the month of May, the Child Mind Institute will mark National Mental Health Awareness Month by revealing homemade videos featuring a celebrity or mental health advocate.
Ginger Zee, Kristen Bell, Lindsey Stirling, Sarah Silverman and Gabrielle Union are just some of the stars who will participate and share personal stories.
As for James, he has another piece of advice for those who can relate to his story.
“Whenever it gets in your way or you realize you made a mistake, laugh,” he shared. “Laugh because that’s what’s going to set you apart and you’re going to be grateful for it. I guarantee you.”
Learn more about The Child Mind Institute and how you can help by visiting their website today.