Gwen Stefani Discovered She Had Dyslexia After Her Sons Were Diagnosed
Gwen Stefani’s sons, Kingston, Zuma and Apollo all struggled when they were first learning to read. It was only when they were diagnosed with dyslexia that Gwen discovered she too had the same condition.
Chatting to Zane Lowe on his podcast At Home With series, Gwen says she never realised she had dyslexia and now understands how a lot of the problems she faced later in life may have had their roots in her dyslexia.
“Everyone has things that happen and mine was that,” she told Zane. “And I feel like a lot of the problems that I have had or even decisions that I’ve made for myself stem from that.”
“Obviously, it’s genetic,” she explained, “because the children now have some of those same issues as me.”
Studies have shown that a child with an affected parent has up to 60% chance of being dyslexic themselves. However, the good news is that with early intervention, kids can succeed with their learning at school and beyond.
Gwen says her boys are all extremely lucky to have support from their teachers who give them the tools they need to work through their learning challenges.
“Now they get all these benefits. They have these incredible teachers and schools and they don’t have to have shame about it,” she told Zane. “They understand that their brains function in a different way. All of our brains do, you know what I mean?”
The mum of three went on to say she felt like a “failure at school,” because learning never came easy for her like it did with her classmates. “It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school that everybody was supposed to be understanding,” she said. “And my brain didn’t work like that; it still doesn’t. But it works in different ways that are probably a gift that other people (don’t have).”
For Gwen, it was music that gave her the confidence to shine. “At that time, I had written that whole first record not even knowing how to write a song, and I had literally laid my entire life out for everyone to hear. And then I’m still in the band with Tony (Kanal), who I was so dependent on, because of probably my dyslexia,” she said. “I didn’t know any of this until now, but I think I didn’t have any confidence in myself at the time. But when I would write a song or I would get on stage, it just felt so right and like the only thing that was going right for me.”
Gwen has three sons with her ex husband Gavin Rossdale, 14-year-old Kingston, 12-year-old Zuma and Apollo, six.