Former BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 star Ian Ziering has spoken out about his struggles with dyslexia during his youth, in an effort to help kids suffering from the condition.
The actor, 44, admits he used humour as a way to deflect attention away from his reading and writing difficulties when he was at school.
He tells People.com, "My career actually started in the second grade as class clown. That's no joke. I was always making people laugh, and it was really to mask a learning disability... When it came time for me to read out loud, I would crack jokes or create a diversion."
But once he was diagnosed with the illness, he began working harder to improve his literacy skills: "I would work through flash cards... to help condition me out of seeing letters and numbers backwards and upside-down.
"I finally trained my eyes to look at the top left corner of the page rather then the bottom right side of the page."
And Ziering - who is a spokesperson for website connectingforcare.com - decided to voice his learning troubles to draw attention to the cause to help others.
He adds, "I view having celebrity as having capital, and I don't know a better way to spend that capital other then helping people."