New York, Aug 4 (ANI): Tim Tebow, who has dyslexia, has revealed that he never took his condition as a handicap.
Tebow was 7 years old when his mother Pam had him tested for learning disabilities.
He took a few tests to see how he processed information and what his IQ was. The results showed he was dyslexic.
Seventeen years later, Tebow is sitting on the edge of the Jets' practice field.
"There's a lot of people that have certain processing disabilities and it has nothing to do with your intelligence, which I think is a big misconception that people have," the New York Post quoted him as saying.
"Coach [Rex] Ryan has dyslexia. He's one of the most intelligent football coaches around.
"I've always tried to share, especially with kids, to be confident with it. You know, 'Hey, this isn't something that's a handicap. You just have to learn how you learn and overcome it. It's something that you can be better off because of, because you know how you learn'," he said.
Tebow is a kinesthetic learner, meaning he learns by doing rather than by sitting and listening to a lecture.
He said he learns best by walking through things, then writing them down.
Some people have theorized that Tebow struggles in practice because he has a tough time learning the playbook.
But Tebow said he does not think dyslexia has affected him on the field at all.
Since the Jets acquired him in March from the Broncos, he has spent his time learning offensive coordinator Tony Sparano's system and feels he has not had a problem.
"This is my third offense in three years, so I feel like I've done a pretty decent job in trying to understand each offense and grasp it," Tebow said. "Who knows? Pretty soon I might have all the offenses."
Dyslexia runs in Tebow's family. Both his father, Bob, and older brother, Robby, are dyslexic, too.
Tebow was home-schooled by his mother, who would quiz Tebow and his siblings at the dinner table. When he got to college at Florida, he found the classes in Gainesville were easier than what his mother threw at him back home.
"My mom was sometimes pretty tough," Tebow said.
"She made me work hard. I think [college] was easier because I was never the best test taker, but I felt like I was pretty good at doing my work and projects and getting things done and everything like that.
"So, I was very blessed at Florida to graduate with honors and did some pretty good things there," he added.
Tebow majored in family youth and community sciences with a minor in communication. He wanted to learn about starting his own foundation and to become a better public speaker.
At Florida, Tebow was permitted an extra 30 minutes to finish exams because of his dyslexia. But he declined the extra time.
"I felt like if I knew it, I knew it. If I didn't, it wasn't going to come to me.
"I just felt like I'm going to study hard and have this information down. I didn't feel like I needed the extra time," he said.
He graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
Tebow now spends time speaking to children with dyslexia about what he has been through. Many of the kids feel insecure about the disability.
"When kids get labeled as a dyslexic, they think, 'Oh man, does this make me dumb? Does this make me stupid? Does this make me not as intelligent as this person?' Absolutely not," he said. (ANI)