Forum - Hidden Dyslexia courses for Teachers

Dyslexia and self-esteem by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 04:10 PM

Dyslexia and self-esteem by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 04:10 PM

by Alasdair Andrew -
Number of replies: 2

Many children/young people with dyslexia go through their entire education without ever having experienced success in learning.

The damage to their self-esteem is so severe that many never really feel good about themselves, even as adults.

Do you think this is true of all dyslexic learners, only of those whose dyslexia is not identified or not true at all?

In reply to Alasdair Andrew

Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 04:10 PM

by Alasdair Andrew -
Picture of Kamil Trzebiatowski
Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Kamil Trzebiatowski - Tuesday, 7 June 2011, 01:38 PM
I think it is definitely true of the learners whose dyslexia has not been identified. Dyslexia will severely impact on their confidence, feeling of self-worth and will impact on how good they are at work or at the very least how good they feel they are at work, whatever it is that they do. Not understanding why they are the way they are leaves them in a void, a situation with no way out.

If dyslexia has been identified, there would normally be no feeling of "I am stupid" and the feeling of inferiority might be diminished. Understanding of one's own problem is the first step to helping yourself and seeing a way out.
Picture of deborah stead
Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by deborah stead - Wednesday, 22 June 2011, 09:49 PM
I totally agree with the previous comment. Unidentified Dyslexia affects a student's self esteem. Teacher's will look to other reasons (usually social, emotional or behavioural difficulties) that reinforce their feeling of low self worth. It is important to find what a student enjoys doing and feels some success in and foster that to help them see, in the first place, that they can be and are successful.
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Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Shona Ferguson - Thursday, 23 June 2011, 01:56 PM
I think that many children/young people with dyslexia that has been recognised and responded to, will  generally have positive learning experiences throughout their education, and hence have healthy self-esteem.  However, children/young people whose learning differences have not been recognised may have low self-esteem, and I do believe that this damage could be so severe as to be irrevocable as our experiences during childhood do set foundations and self-belief systems that may become embedded.
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Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Denise Dupont - Friday, 15 July 2011, 09:34 AM

I do think that some dyslexic learners will always feel bad about themselves and never reach their full potential but there is more to a person than dyslexia. We are a result of all are experiences and some people are more able to face their problems and overcome than others and I feel that this relates to people who have hidden dyslexia as much as anyone else.

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Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Caroline McDermott - Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 11:43 AM
My husband was an under-achiever at school. Matters were made worse by total lack of interest by his parents in his schooling who thought he just wasn't as bright as his brother. Will also thought he was just "stupid" and would never achieve much. This severely affected his confidence and self-belief not to mention his future career. It was only much later that he was diagnosed as dyslexic (when I was doing my PGCE I began to wonder so he got himself tested). Since then he has gone on to achieve Higher Grade English and OU Maths modules and, through dint of his efforts, acquire a great job. But because of his dyslexia he was under huge pressure when applying for the job and subsequent training as it involved huge amounts of learning and in an area in which he had absolutely no previous experience; this put huge strains on his short-term memory and, at the time, caused much stress and worry - he so wanted the job. But Will got there and is now beginning to fulfil his potential, all the while his confidence and self-esteem are growing. There is more to a person than dyslexia and we are all the end-product of our experiences but I suspect whether or not someone dyslexia succeeds in overcoming their experiences might depend on how bad they were and how deep they went. And how much support, encouragement and understanding they subsequently receive.
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Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Mary Dunlop - Saturday, 13 August 2011, 03:37 PM
Yes, some people are more determined and use the strengths they have creatively.
It's natural for a pupil to seek an explanation for learning difficulties and it can be a source of great relief to start to understand why these difficulties exist and so build greater self-confidence and a sense of worth.
There will be an awareness that extra effort and struggle will be required in life but self- knowledge along with encouragement and support can help realise potential.
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Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Irene McIlchere - Thursday, 15 September 2011, 04:28 PM
This is an area of that makes me feel very guilty every time it is mentioned in the coursework. 
I have been interested in dealing with dyslexia in mainstream classes. I have attended a number of workshops, read a number of up to date research papers and completed a research project through the Open University. But I got it very wrong.
When dealing with a P7 boy, who had been diagnosed as dyslexic in P3/4, I was determined that this was going to be my chance to put all my good ideas into practice. We worked well together, gave him the responsibility of being chairperson of the Eco-schools project, sent him to give presentations to groups such as PTA, local groups that might give funds, and to give regular updates to the whole school at assembly. 
The assessment day came and he was in complete control and dealt with the assessors in a mannerly, friendly manner, keen to share his knowledge and desperate to let them know how hard everyone had worked. A superb report and congratulations to all!
On his way home he was approached by a classmate who didn't like the attention that had been given to the chairperson and a fight broke out. The next morning, confronted by angry parents the incident was investigated by management and the boy was stripped of his position of responsibility. When I spoke to him I couldn't see why such drastic action had been taken, why he was not allowed to make the announcement of the success to the whole school. Now I understand. He couldn't recall the sequence of events. So it was decided he was making it up as he was going along and I didn't realize what was going on. I let him down and he knows it. Dyslexia really can eat away at every area of life.
Picture of Moira Thomson
Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Moira Thomson - Friday, 16 September 2011, 07:41 AM

How distressing for all concerned - and such a blow to your own self esteem too!

We teachers sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves and 'take the blame' when things go wring in ways that are beyond our control.

In this case, peer mediation might have helped - sometimes the other young people see more clearly and are fairer than the adults around them.

Please dont' allow this one setback to stop you from doing such good work with other pupils - children with dyselxia need teachers like you!

Course tutor

Picture of Carole Tailford
Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem
by Carole Tailford - Tuesday, 20 September 2011, 07:59 PM
To a large extent, yes I would agree given the push in education towards academic achievement being celebrated over and above any other achievements of pupils within the education system. It depends on the school - my son was diagnosed as being mod to severely dyslexic at the age of 9. He is presently in 6th year undertaking his final year and had attained 4 Highers. One school he attended made a point, at the end of year when handing out certificates of achievement,of giving pupils prizes from the SFL department. This was done in such a way that the whole school clapped for the pupils just as much as for those getting A grades in English/Maths, etc. He was so proud getting this award.

However, in the family there is a cousin on my husband's side who was never tested, struggled all through school and left with no qualifications and a very poor ability in spelling. He was an angry young man and after leaving school with no qualifications had a very low skilled career and now works as a carer in a home. His 'clever' brother went to university and is held up in the family as being the most successful but what about lost opportunities and potential of the youngest struggler. It makes me think that with support he too could have had a successful career.
In reply to Alasdair Andrew

Re: Dyslexia and self-esteem by Moira Thomson - Saturday, 19 March 2011, 04:10 PM

by Michael Woods -
I am currently working with a number of dyslexic adults ranging in age from 19 to 54. Prior to developing an individual learning plan for each of them, we conduct a short interview to help understand their backgrounds and any other issues. One of the key areas we discuss is their schooling experience.

It is quite interesting, because the older adults have quite painful memories of their school time and recount very vivid stories of extremely low self-esteem and self-worth. These older adults do not recall having any support whilst at school, and for some the support they are currently receiving is the first since they left school. They also tend to be quite reserved when talking about dyslexia and prefer 1-2-1 session than group sessions.

However, the younger adults, who may have had support whilst at school, have a more open attitude about their dyslexia - indeed, they have been actively seeking additional support because someone has taken the trouble to explain about their learning difficulties - and also do not seem to mind small group sessions.

I feel that there is also a generational aspect to this question with older learners having very low self-esteem because they, typically, are less informed about dyslexia. Whilst the younger ones have quite good self-esteem brought about by having their dyslexia identified and being much more informed about learning strategies and strengths of dyslexic learners.