Emotional Impacts of Dyslexia

As we reach the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it might be helpful to highlight that The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other SpLDs has recently released a new report titled ‘The Human Cost of Dyslexia: the emotional and psychological impact of poorly supported dyslexia’. It states “Whilst dyslexia is not directly linked to emotional or mental health issues, failing to diagnose dyslexia early, and inadequate support – both academic and emotional – during education and beyond leads often to a short and long term human cost of dyslexia.” This is certainly an issue that we are aware of in Dyslexia Scotland.  Many of the adults who attend our Adult Networks and our Career Development Service talk of little or no support for dyslexia when they were younger.  This has led to difficulties in further education, job-seeking, in the workplace and in their personal relationships. Our next Adult Network (Glasgow) meeting on Monday 17 June will cover the topic of Dyslexia and Mental Health.  Emma from SAMH will be speaking at this meeting.   We recently surveyed our Adult Network members and found that the most popular topics that they would be interested in learning more about were:
Emotional Impacts of dyslexia 19
Understanding and living with the dyslexic in your life (you or your partner) 12
Dyslexia and support at work 17
IT and apps to support dyslexia 12
As you can see, the emotional impacts of dyslexia was the most requested topic.  This is something we are aiming to address in a variety of ways.  Our Career Development Service is supported by four active Career Mentor Volunteers. One of our Mentors, David, has specific skills in coaching and has explored emotions and dyslexia with a few of our Career Service clients.  I have also recently completed the ‘Fundamentals of Therapeutic Mentoring in Addressing the Emotional Repercussions of Dyslexia’ course run by GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling. It was an excellent course and highlighted the importance of providing opportunities for dyslexic people to tell their story to help heal past difficulties.  We currently have a number of ways for people to tell their dyslexia story:
  1. Writing a blog for us here
  2. Being interviewed by one of our Media Volunteers, David Thomson, for our podcast series
  3. Writing an article/poem/creating artwork for our members’ quarterly magazine.
  4. Another of our Media volunteers, Trevor Thomson, is keen to create a second film (his first film is on the topic of dyslexia and mental health.
We’ve also recently brought together a small roup of volunteers to explore if more developments are needed to support dyslexic adults. Our three adult networks are currently planning meetings in the coming year, targeting later identified adults.  This year we will also be highlighting adult dyslexia through our revamped roadshows. We are planning two events in Glasgow (September 2019) and Stirling (February 2020), so look out for more details on our events page and on our social media accounts in the next few months. In the meantime, you can see our range of leaflets on dyslexia here. They are grouped by audience, so there are leaflets for adults – for example, information about recruitment, employment, and studying. What are your thoughts on living with dyslexia as an adult? Please do contact me, if you would like to  write a blog, be involved in a podcast or create something for our magazine.  My email is [email protected] or call 01786 446650. Helen Fleming, Volunteers Manager at Dyslexia Scotland