Leonardo, Portrait of a Dyslexic Genius.

Leonardo DaVinci was a great painter, designer, scientist, futurist and thinker. He also had the gift of dyslexia.

One remarkable indication that Leonardo was dyslexic is in his handwriting. Leonardo was constantly sketching out his ideas for inventions. Most of the time, he wrote his notes backwards. Why did Leonardo write from right-to-left, in mirror image? Although unusual, this is a trait shared by many left-handed dyslexic people. Most of the time, dyslexic writers are not even consciously aware that they are writing this way.

Leonardo's spelling is also considered erratic and quite strange. He also started many more projects then he ever finished - a characteristic now often considered to be 'A.D.D.'

However, when it came to drawing illustrations, Leonardo's work is detailed and precise. His extraordinary art work and inventive genius are proof that he truly possessed the gift of dyslexia.

Our favorite sketch is Leonardo's helicopter. Leonardo was intrigued with the concept of human flight, and spent many years toying with various ideas for flying machines. When he drew his flying machine, he wrote (backwards, of course): "A small model can be made of paper with a spring like metal shaft that after having been released, after having been twisted, causes the screw to spin up into the air."

We use our own drawing of Leonardo's helicopter as a quick way of returning to the home page, wherever you are in our site.

For more information about Leonardo, visit these sites:


Dyslexia the Gift Home PageDavis Dyslexia Association International
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This Page Last Modified: Saturday, 06 September 2003.