Wednesday - Impact of dyslexia

Wednesday 5th October 2016 - How does dyslexia affect people differently?

The most important aspect of dyslexia is in fact the individual who is dyslexic. Sometimes there is a danger of being so caught up in either the diagnosis or the support programme that the individual and their own needs can be overlooked.

Any process of identification and support should place the individual at the centre of that process. They should be empowered by that process and the support that is provided.

In order to do this effectively we therefore need to develop a good understanding of what it might be like to be dyslexic.

Potential Educational Issues

Not surprisingly some of the effects of dyslexia can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. The most common difficulty is within literacy. It often takes far more persistence and effort to gain reading and writing skills. 

Due to weaknesses within memory systems there can also be problems with:

Organisational skills;

  • Completing complex tasks;
  • Prioritising;
  • Sequencing
  • Remembering messages or lists of instructions;
  • Handling information that requires using sequencing, etc.


Numeracy can also create problems for dyslexic individuals; not so much with the concepts, but with the associated processes and procedures.

There are potential issues in Social Interaction, for example;

  • Remembering names;
  • Finding the correct name/term for something;
  • Confusing words and phrases (e.g.: "par cark" for car park, and “six of one a dozen of the other”, etc.)

This can lead to embarrassment and a fear of saying the wrong or inappropriate thing. The impact that dyslexia can have is capable of dramatically narrowing an individual’s horizons. Fortunately, many individuals who are dyslexic do develop very good coping strategies.

Issues with Confidence & Self Esteem
Problems with some of these areas can also lead to personal issues such as lack of confidence and self-esteem. Individuals who are dyslexic often find themselves focusing on all the things that they feel they don’t do as well as other people. Because of this, they find it difficult to identify their unique strengths, or may assume that these are not unique to them but that everyone has the same abilities.

Issues with Anxiety
There are also times when an individual may feel very anxious, particularly when in new or unfamiliar situations where they feel that their weaknesses will be exposed to strangers and that this might lead to ridicule or errors.
 Even the most successful dyslexic individuals may also suffer from periods of self-doubt and lack of confidence because of some of the difficulties outlined above.

Watch the Youtube video Being Dyslexic

Find out more about BDA training courses to help education staff better support students with dyslexia. 

You can also visit our Diagnostic Assessment page to find out how to get an assessment for dyslexia.

We are also inviting primary schools to take part in a Sponsored Spell during Dyslexia Awareness Week. This fun event aims to support literacy development whilst also raising awareness and funds for the British Dyslexia Association. 

Free Screeners are also available during Dyslexia Awareness Week from;

Dyslexia + Profiler (aged + 16 years)

Quick Screen (aged + 17 years)

Nessy - Dyslexia Test (5- 7 year olds)