‘Had Trouble Paying Attention’: Will Smith Reveals Crippling Learning Syndrome That Stopped Him From Being a ‘Straight A’ Student

Will Smith is one of the world’s most popular singers and actors. Even though his recent past has been shrouded in the controversial incident at the Oscars 2022, the actor has undoubtedly made a significant mark in the entertainment industry. However, just like every star, his success and fame have not come without challenges. The star had a difficult childhood and struggled with a learning disorder that affected his grades.

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Will Smith suffered from ADHD while growing up

Will Smith
Will Smith is a successful actor despite his ADHD

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1998, the actor revealed that during his childhood, he suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). He stated,

“I was the fun one who had trouble paying attention. Today they’d diagnose me as a child with ADHD.”

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a person’s ability to focus and can lead to impulsive behavior. It is usually diagnosed in childhood, more likely in boys. Its symptoms include impulsiveness, forgetfulness, procrastination, difficulty staying organized, and inattentiveness.

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Will Smith says ADHD impacted his grades

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith

The star also stated that the disorder negatively impacted his grades.

“I was a B student who should’ve been getting A’s – classic underachiever. It was hard for me to read an entire book in two weeks. Today I buy a book and have someone read it for me on tape!”

There are many celebrities, such as Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Justin Timberlake, and Adam Levine, who suffer from this disorder.

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Michael Phelps also suffers from ADHD

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

In 2017, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps also opened up about his struggles with ADHD and said that he had suffered from the disorder his “whole entire life.”

“It’s something I continue to live with. It’s changed my life since the beginning.”

The swimmer also talked about how he was treated differently due to his disorder.

“I [saw] kids who, we were all in the same class, and the teachers treated them differently than they would treat me. I had a teacher tell me that I would never amount to anything and I would never be successful.”

Will Smith and Michael Phelps’ openness in talking about the disorder would help to create awareness about the disorder and help people understand the need to provide ADHD children with the right resources so that they can perform well.

Source: Essentially Sports and Si

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Aashi Singh
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