Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart said he hoped a new DVD would help increase awareness of dyslexia and prevent sufferers “being left in the dustbin of life”.
The three-time Formula One world champion was in Edinburgh to launch the Scottish Executive-funded DVD, which is being sent to every school in Scotland to raise awareness of the condition.
The DVD features Sir Jackie – who was not diagnosed as having the condition until the age of 41 – speaking about how he struggled while at school.
Sir Jackie, who is president of the support group Dyslexia Scotland, said that when he was at school he was told he was “stupid, dumb and thick”.
And he said he believed the DVD, created with the support of Dyslexia Scotland, would give youngsters with the condition more hope that they could go on to lead a successful life.
He added it should also improve awareness of the learning difficulty among teachers and education authorities, leading to earlier diagnosis of the condition.
Sir Jackie said: “There are so many people being left in the dustbin of life through poor education and the education authorities have
to make sure all of our teachers are fully versed on early recognition of dyslexia so they can help all those people out there.”
He argued that many people with dyslexia struggle to find work and said the frustration they experienced could even see them turn to alcohol, drugs or crime.
The former racing champion, who admitted he is unable to fill in a driving licence form, said: “The greatest loss of my life unquestionably is education. I’m not a very educated person, everything I have learned has be through personal experience and was in spite of the education system, which absolutely failed me.”
He said his “greatest aim” now was for all teacher training colleges throughout the UK to devote more time to the issue, so teachers could spot the signs of dyslexia earlier and give children the support they need.