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ELON Musk was cruelly branded “retarded” by teachers when he was seven because he would spend his days staring into space, his dad has claimed. 

The Tesla CEO’s estranged father Errol Musk said he was left “dumbstruck” when his son’s school principal and Grade 2 teacher in South Africa told him Elon might need to go to a special school.


5Elon Musk poses on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award 2020 in Berlin, GermanyCredit: Getty 5Elon Musk's father Errol Musk poses for a portrait at his house Langebaan, South Africa in MayCredit: AFP 5Elon Musk poses age 17 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with his sister Tosca and brother Kimbal in 1989Credit: TWITTER/@mayemusk

But he says it was agreed it might be an issue with the SpaceX founder’s hearing and was solved by getting him ear grommets. 

Making the claims in a YouTube interview posted on Wednesday, Errol, 76, said that after the incident he moved Elon to a new school. 

The video is the latest in a series titled Dad of A Genius with a psychologist known as Anneke where Errol has been revealing details about his relationship with Elon, 50, and the tycoon’s mom Maye, 74.

Using an outdated, derogatory word, a former engineer and businessman Errol said: “I knew he wasn't retarded but I didn’t know what to say."

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On the way to the meeting at the school with the two teachers, he says he was worried that Elon had said something rude. 

He said: “If somebody said something that he thought was not smart he would say, ‘That's stupid’ or ‘You're stupid,' you know? 

“I think he may have got it from me, but I hope not.”

After the meeting got underway, Errol said that his son’s Grade 2 teacher was almost in tears when she told him Elon spent a lot of his time in a “fixed position” staring out of the window and did not respond to her calls. 

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She said “There’s something wrong with Elon” and added that even shaking him did not help, according to Errol. 

He said: “I thought okay, well what's wrong with that, but I didn't say anything and turned to the principal and he said to me ‘Look, we think Elon needs a special school’. 

Errol says he asked about the quality of his son’s school work and the teacher said: “Oddly enough, his work is all right, it’s good.”

Explaining his stunned reaction, Errol said: “I didn't know quite what to say."

He then recalled how the teacher said the cruel comment once more, saying: "We think Elon’s retarded."

“In those days they were somewhat straightforward. They didn't mince words," he continued.

“I looked at them both and the teacher was almost in tears and I wasn't sure what to say.

I looked at them both and the teacher was almost in tears and I wasn't sure what to say.

Errol Musk

"We sat there in a sort of dumb silence for a few seconds and then the principal came to the rescue is us and said maybe there's something wrong with his hearing. 

"So this was like fantastic. And the teacher said ‘Yes, yes that's it.' 

“And he and I said ‘Yes.'

“If it was any other place we would have got up and held each and done a bit of a jig or something.”

Errol says he left the meeting promising to have Elon’s hearing tested and found that all he needed were ear grommets - tiny tubes inserted into the eardrum that allow air to pass through it. 

But he also realized that Elon was in the wrong school, adding: “I managed to get him into a private school, somewhat snobbish sort of school but obviously the best, you know? 

“A very old private school. And that was the end of it.”


Elon has spoken openly about how he grew up with developmental disorder Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism spectrum disorder. 

People with the condition have difficulties relating to others socially and their behavior and thinking patterns can be rigid and repetitive.  

The world's richest man has had a bad relationship with his father for years.

In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Elon described his dad as a "terrible human being" and claimed his childhood was "painful and isolated”.

One reason given for the bitter rift is that Errol fathered a love child with his stepdaughter who is 42 years his junior, which he has described as a “one-off mistake”.

Meanwhile, Elon’s strained relationship with one of his own seven children was thrust into the spotlight this week after it emerged that the teen had filed a petition to change her gender. 

The legal document reveals that former Xavier Alexander Musk, 18, wants to change her gender identity from male to female and be known as Vivian Jenna Wilson. 

She said she’s changing her name because she “no longer lives with or wishes to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form”.

It's not known if Musk was aware of the court documents being filed. 

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On Fathers Day, Musk tweeted that he loved all of his kids "so much”.

The Sun reached out to representatives for Musk asking for comment about his father’s claims. 

5Errol has been speaking out in a series of interview with a psychologist known only as AnnekeCredit: YOUTUBE/Dad of a Genius: five minutes with Errol Musk 5Elon Musk with his mother May at the Met Gala in New York City in MayCredit: Getty

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Tags: tesla spacex tesla something wrong his son’s school ’t sure what i wasn’t sure and i wasn’t son’s school something elon musk’s wasn’t sure tesla ceo’s his son’s and the teacher said and the teacher said relationship a special school private school said something interview principal the principal gabby petito south africa read in a series the meeting when he by teachers

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Astronauts suffer a DECADE’S worth of bone loss due to low gravity conditions in space

THE lack of gravity in space could be harming astronaut bones more than previously thought.

Spending a long time in the microgravity of space is reducing the bone strength of astronauts and can affect them for a year after they return to Earth, according to a new study.

2Space can have a lot of negative impacts on the human bodyCredit: Getty 2The structure of bones can be permanently changed by space travel, according to the researchCredit: Dr. Steven Boyd

University of Calgary biomedical engineer Steven Boyd led the new international research.

His team scanned the bones of 17 astronauts.

This included 14 male and three female.

Their bones were tested before and after time in space.

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They scanned them at 6 months and one year after the return.

It wasn't unusual to see bone loss in the astronauts as we already know that microgravity can have this effect.

What was unusual was how long the astronauts took to return to their original bone strength.

Fortunately, the scientists think they have a solution to the problem.

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That solution is deadlifts.

Boyd explained: "Different kinds of exercise have different effects.

"So although bone is influenced by load, impact loading is better than continuous loading."

The researchers used advanced scanning technology to study the bones and think it helped them draw new conclusions than older research.

Boyd added: "It’s a whole bunch of struts and rods that are all interconnected to give bones strength.

"With this technology, we can see those struts and rods, and we can then measure how they are affected by spaceflight and what happens when you return to Earth."

Unfortunately, some of that internal structure in the bone doesn't comeback after a return from space.

Although astronauts can work to recover their bone strength, Boyd says "the actual underlying structure might be permanently altered.”

The new research could help space agencies come up with effective space training regimes so astronauts are protected.

This will be especially useful for long space missions.

It's expected that a Mars mission could take two to three years and that's a lot of time to be in space.

The study has been published in Scientific Reports.

What happens to bones in space?

Scientists have known for decades that space weakens human bones.

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The Nasa website explains: "Nasa has learned that without Earth’s gravity affecting the human body, weight-bearing bones lose on average 1% to 1.5% of mineral density per month during spaceflight.

"After returning to Earth, bone loss might not be completely corrected by rehabilitation; however, their risk for fracture is not higher."

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