Dyslexia is a very broad term defining a learning difficulty that impairs a person's fluency of reading and writing - they are not quick, accurate and effortless. Reading and writing develop incompletely or with great difficulty. This difficulty exists despite adequate intelligence, educational and sociocultural opportunity, and often despite remedial assistance. It is unexpected given the person’s other cognitive skill levels.

Problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary, and spelling and learning knowledge, can occur as secondary consequences to this difficulty.

Dyslexia is a diagnosable medical condition according to the DSM-5. It is identified by reading and writing that does not seem to match their level of intelligence after observation of their other skills. For example, they may continue to have strengths in maths or science and hence their reading is the unexpected underachieving element of their academics.

There are different types of dyslexia related to the sensory difficulties associated with either the eyes, ears or both. Early identification and intervention are regarded as important but intervention at any age is effective. Therefore, if somebody in your family, particularly your child, is going through these kinds of symptoms but have not yet sought help – it is important for them to do so.

However, it is also important for the people who are close to them to get support if needed. It can be difficult to understand and accept that someone you love is experiencing this, and it may make you fear for their future career.

You may start to experience an inability to support the individual or others in your family, you may think about it constantly and feel down or stressed about it, or the difficulties may begin to affect other areas of your life such as your relationships or concentration at work. If having a family member with this disorder is beginning to take a toll on your own wellbeing or ability to function, it may be beneficial for you to seek help as well.

Many of our psychologists are specialised in assisting in this area in a number of ways, including:

  • Help you and your family come to terms with the disorder, either individually or as a group
  • Providing emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative thoughts
  • Educating you on the disorder, its symptoms, and the best practices for reducing these
  • Assisting you in being the best support you can be for your child and the rest of your family members that may be affected
  • Identify the underlying concerns that are affecting your own functioning, and address these by altering any unsubstantiated negative thoughts
  • Help to build up your own support system and self-care plan to reduce any stress over the difficulties and maintain a positive daily life
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