In an interview posted by Reading Rockets, author/illustrator and Michigan native Patricia Polacco recalls the challenges she faced as an undiagnosed dyslexic.

Although Polacco’s artistic talents were evident very early in her childhood—a gift she attributes to her dyslexia— her language deficits led her to believe she was "dumb."

Her life changed drastically at age 14, when a favorite teacher finally recognized her learning disability.

With his help and generosity, she was able to receive appropriate intervention and improve her reading and writing skills.

She not only graduated from secondary school, but received a Ph.D. in art history, and is now a nationally renowned children’s author.

Watch and listen to Polacco’s inspiring story (left) or read her interview transcript.