Jennifer Aniston Talks Life With Dyslexia

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Jennifer Aniston grew up thinking she wasn't smart. That no doubt shocks those who have watched the talented beauty transform from Rachel on Friends to one of Hollywood's A-listers and film stars.

"I thought I wasn't smart," she said during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I just couldn't retain anything."

Finally, when she was in her 20s, she learned what the real problem was. She suffered from dyslexia.

"The only reason I knew [that I had it] was because I went to get a prescription for glasses," she says. "I had to wear these Buddy Holly glasses. One had a blue lens and one had a red lens. And I had to read a paragraph, and they gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I'd just read, and I think I got three right. Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos."

Receiving the diagnosis put lots of things into perspective for the Cake star.

"Now I had this great discovery," she says. "I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained."

According to the Mayo Clinic, "dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Also called specific reading disability, dyslexia is a common learning disability in children."

"Dyslexia occurs in children with normal vision and intelligence. Sometimes dyslexia goes undiagnosed for years and isn't recognized until adulthood."

"There's no cure for dyslexia. It's a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role."

It certainly makes one wonder what changes Jennifer Aniston might have made in her life had she learned as a child that she had dyslexia. Would she have grown up to be the actress she is today? Or might she have chosen a different path for her life?

Jennifer Aniston is a sure example for those living with dyslexia that the world is theirs to conquer. She certainly hasn't let it prevent her from reaching some very lofty goals. She's engaged to actor Justin Theroux, and even though she was snubbed during the Oscar nominations for her role in Cake, she is happy knowing the film is getting great press.

Does the revelation that Jennifer Aniston is dyslexic make you wonder what other Hollywood A-listers have similar issues?

Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and ‘Nana’ to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.