The day-to-day difficulties of being dyslexic can cause certain emotional issues for families who have kids with dyslexia.
I write a lot about how smart and talented people with dyslexia are. I am passionate about dispelling the myths about dyslexia so that the people who have it can shake off the myth that they just aren’t smart and really learn in the way in which they were created to learn.
Dyslexia can affect other areas aside from the language arts such as memory, organization, attention, communication, social skills and focus.
And so it remains the case that many dyslexics who are struggling in these areas day after day can get discouraged. Learning these left-brained, linear tasks are HARD for the dyslexic thinker. Growing into your own skin and understanding your dyslexia can take time, time that is often full of trial and error and plenty of ups and downs.
Common Areas of Struggle for the Person With Dyslexia
Not all dyslexics suffer from discouragement and her many cousins. However, most families will experience at least a few of these issues.
Some dyslexic kids have difficulty in social situations. They can be emotionally and socially immature, which can effect the quality of their relationships, which can cause lack of confidence over time.
Processing lags can cause some dyslexic kids to have trouble finding the right words or keep up with conversation in a group. This is especially true as a child reaches the teen years.
All of these issues can lead to increased anxiety and fear of failure and embarrassment. Anxiety leads to avoidance of the situations that are awkward, which can lead to more criticism from unknowing parents and teachers.
All of these frustrations can lead to anger which can look like rebelliousness. Understanding the root of these problems is so important for parents of dyslexics. No one knows your child like you do!
Many dyslexic kids who are attending public schools are waiting for the schools to help them learn, while they are falling further and further behind. This daily comparison to kids who are able to learn well with traditional methods can quickly erode confidence.
Some kids with dyslexia are able to brush off their struggles and press on cheerfully while others can experience:
A loss of confidence: A child’s early years are spent developing their self-image. If these years are full of frustrations from school, they will lead to feelings of inferiority. If not helped quickly this can lead to feeling powerless and incompetent.
Research also suggests that these feelings of inferiority develop by the age of ten. After this age, it becomes extremely difficult to help children develop a positive self-image. This is a powerful argument for early intervention and homeschooling.
Depression: This same series of frustrations can lead certain children to depression. The signs of depression in children can be different than those in adults.
Signs of depression in children:
- Child has negative thoughts about themselves
- Child tends to view the world negatively
- Child lacks hope or an ability to imagine positive things in the future
Interestingly, sibling rivalry is common in homes where one or more children are dyslexic. The kids without dyslexia can feel jealous of all of the attention, time and money being spent on the dyslexic child. This kind of negative attention, of course, is unwanted by the child with dyslexia and can cause more stress.
Parents themselves may misunderstand dyslexia and insist that the child just work harder, which doesn’t work.
If the parent was dyslexic, watching their child go through the same struggles that caused them so much pain may stir up bad memories in them.
Loss of interest or zeal for learning
If a child is consistently performing below expectations and no matter how hard they try, they are still falling short, it is easy to understand that they may lose interest in learning.
Low tolerance or patience with difficulty
Without regular success, kids with dyslexia can develop a low tolerance to difficulty, causing them to give up quickly when a project is perceived as being too hard.
I don’t write this post to scare or frighten you but to open your eyes to the very real possibility of these things happening in your family. Homeschooling can alleviate MANY of these issues but they are still there and it is important to be aware of them. Most families will experience some but not all of these struggles.
Join me tomorrow to learn Tips For Overcoming Emotional Issues Caused by Dyslexia.