Creative Child

How to Turn Your Child’s Challenges into Opportunities

by Deborah Song

Every child has challenges. By and large, however, how that child perceives and deals with those challenges will be influenced by how his parents perceive and deal with those challenges.

When child entrepreneur Max Ash was diagnosed with dyslexia, his mother Jennifer Ash often wondered if his son would lead a horrible life. Would his dyslexia cause problems in the future? Would he be able to get a good job? Then something happened.

He created a mug with a hoop in his art class. It spawned a bunch of copycats, which annoyed Max at first. But for Jennifer, it was a Eureka moment. “Instead of seeing his learning disability as a disability, I realized it also could be looked at as an advantage.”

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People with dyslexia have been known to see things differently (think Albert Einstein). And Jennifer began to consider the possibility that Max’s dyslexia was giving him a unique way of looking at how mugs could be used: not only to drink and eat with but a way to make it acceptable to play with food.

As a way of supporting Max, his family supported him in starting Max’is Creations, a company that creates a line of sports mugs with hoops. His basketball mug has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and his mugs are now being sold at retailers like Nordstrom across the country. When I interviewed Max last year, he had sold more than 40,000 mugs.

When I asked Max how he viewed his dyslexia, he referred me to banner on his school building (Max attends a special school for children with learning disabilities): “Children with dyslexia see the world differently. Isn’t the world lucky they do?"

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