Dyslexia is a very broad term defining learning difficulties, and there are different types of dyslexia related to sensory difficulties with the eyes, ears or both. These learning difficulties result in impairment in a person’s fluency of reading and writing – the individual may be slower, less accurate, and having to use more effort in order to complete reading, spelling and writing tasks. However Dyslexia looks different for each individual, and can range from very mild to severe impairment in ability. Dyslexia does not reflect low intelligence, and individuals with dyslexia are often described as being creative, out-of-the-box thinkers.
If you have dyslexia, problems in your ability to understand whilst reading, likely led to avoidance of reading and consequently prevented the growth of your vocabulary and spelling knowledge, thereby making your difficulties even more pronounced. If you have dyslexia, and it has remained undiagnosed, you may have performed poorly in school, which may in turn have impacted your self-confidence. Because of this, you may now struggle to find employment or feel you do not perform as well at work as you should.
Dyslexia is a diagnosable medical condition according to the DSM-5. It is identified by reading and writing that is abnormal given the person’s level of intelligence and other skills. For example, if you have dyslexia, it is likely you have strengths in other areas, such as maths or science, sport, or art.
Early identification and intervention are regarded as important, but intervention at any age is effective. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms of dyslexia, but have not yet sought help – it is important to do so. You may have started to notice your difficulties with reading and writing at work or in social situations and you may think about it constantly and feel down or stressed about it, or the issue may have begun to affect other areas of your life such as your relationships.
Many of our psychologists are specialised in assisting in this area in a number of ways, including:
- Helping you come to terms with the disorder
- Providing emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative thoughts
- Educating you on the dyslexia and the experiences of those with dyslexia
- Helping you to formulate a plan to improve in areas of weakness (e.g. word pronunciation) and equip you with specific strategies to face difficulties related to dyslexia (e.g. wanting to avoid reading)
- Identifying the underlying concerns that are affecting your own functioning, and address these by altering any unsubstantiated negative thoughts
- Helping to build up your own support system and self-care plan to reduce any stress over the issue and maintain a positive daily life