Dyslexia doesn’t just affect a child or young person’s abilities in the English classroom. It can impact their experience throughout every school activity, especially as it is often concurrent with other conditions like ADD or with other literacies like numbers. Some people with dyslexia can also experience physical symptoms, such as difficulty with motor coordination. This can cause issues participating in physical education, playground play, and afterschool activities.
According to the British Dyslexia Association, young people with SpLDs such as dyslexia often report higher levels of mental health difficulties and are more prone to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
In a digital world, it’s important to be aware of the barriers dyslexia can create. Much of the lives of children and young people now take place online, from gaming for fun to interacting with friends and family on social media. Accessing these online places may be trickier for those with dyslexia, both from a readability perspective as well as communicating through writing. One study showed that, of these two struggles, writing is a bigger challenge for social media users with dyslexia.
A young person may be concerned that by interacting online through written word, the difficulties they face could be exposed and leave them vulnerable to judgment and possible bullying. Whereas they may have support in the classroom and their written work is only seen by a limited number of people, when things move online there may not be an adult or supportive person there to assist them with writing before it is seen by their peers.
Social media is already a pressurised environment for young people. For those with dyslexia, there are added challenges and they may not feel able to fully express themselves online. This could result in a young person feeling misunderstood or socially excluded if they do not have the necessary help or support.