On the April 18 episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” she opened up to guest Henry Winkler, who also has dyslexia, about what River Clarkson, 8, has been dealing with from her peers. Winkler, 77, was on the show promoting his own show, “Barry,” which premiered on HBO two days earlier.
Henry Winkler Assured Kelly Clarkson About Her Daughter’s Future
River has been picked on at school for “not being able to read like all the other kids,” Clarkson said. According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia makes it difficult for those with the learning disorder to read and write because they have trouble “identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words.”
At the time of her daughter’s diagnosis, Clarkson said, she did not realize how common it was among children. But 1 in 5 children suffers from a learning disorder, including dyslexia, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Winkler did his best to assure Clarkson that everything would be all right for her daughter, using his own career as an example of overcoming dyslexia.
“River! How you learn has nothing to do with how brilliant you are,” he said.
Henry Winkler: ‘I Thought I Was Stupid’
He also mentioned how he’s become a best-selling author while having dyslexia. In a 2019 interview with NPR, Winkler opened up about the achievements he has experienced while dealing with the disorder, saying he never would have imagined seeing his name on the cover of a book he’d written.
“I thought I was stupid,” Winkler said in the NPR interview. “You take that mantle with you when it’s said often enough and when you’re young enough. There is an emotional component, I think, that comes along with learning challenges, where I had no sense of self.”
Winkler’s writing career has seen him publish more than 30 children’s books, including the Hank Zipzer series, a 28-book series “inspired by Winkler’s own struggle with learning challenges,” according to Celadon Books. He also has one memoir, “I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River” (2011) and will have a second memoir, Being Henry: The Fonz … and Beyond,” published October 31.
Kelly Clarkson Has Her Own Conditions, Too
As for Clarkson and her ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock, the two welcomed River in June 2014 after walking down the aisle the previous year. They also have a son, Alexander, who was born in 2016.
Clarkson has always been candid in sharing what’s going on with her life. She previously revealed that she has had to manage an autoimmune condition as well as a thyroid condition for the past two decades. During a 2018 interview on “Today,” she shared that the weight loss she was experiencing a result of having to control her thyroid issue. She had to adjust her diet and eat different foods, which has allowed her not to have to rely on taking medicine to combat the thyroid issue.
Viewers can catch Clarkson on her talk show as well as every Monday night as “The Voice” Season 23 continues to move along.