Hidden Dyslexia: (Parents) (Canada) HD312

Hidden Dyslexia is a course for parents of children/young people with dyslexia who wish to raise their own awareness of how dyslexia can be ‘hidden’ at home and in the classroom environment. The course content will help parents/carers to discover the impact of unrecognised dyslexia on learning, behaviour and self-esteem and explore how dyslexic difficulties are often mistaken for something else in young children and teenagers.

Section 1 Introduction

This first introductory section sets the context for the course, with links to relevant national and international initiatives for reference.

The slide presentations introduce;

  • causes of dyslexia
  • some current definitions of dyslexia
  • reasons why dyslexia is not always identified in the early years at elementary school
  • some topics explored in greater depth later in the course

Section 2  Developmental issues

This section identifies some early childhood conditions that are often part of the history of dyslexic children. Topics covered include:

  • delayed speech
  • glue ear
  • childhood asthma
  • visual/perceptual problems
  • motor difficulties
  • binocular instability
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder

Section 3 Masking factors

This short section considers some of the reasons why dyslexia may not be identified at school. The main reasons that some teachers do not recognise the indications that a child may have dyslexia are reviewed:

  • dyslexia and visual and auditory processing
  • dyslexia concealed by high ability and behaviour
  • links between dyslexia and self-esteem
  • dyslexia and multilingualism

Section 4  Coping strategies

This section looks at how some children hide their dyslexia and explores some of the strategies used by children with dyslexia to cope with any learning difficulties they experience. Whether dyslexia has been identified or not, these coping strategies may be seen by parents – and teachers – as behaviour or attitude problems

Section 5  Avoidance strategies

This section highlights how some coping strategies become avoidance strategies as the barrier to learning for some dyslexic learners increase to an unbearable level.

These avoidance strategies may cause the child with dyslexia to

  • become withdrawn and uncooperative
  • beviolently disruptive in class
  • to truant regularly

Case studies are included that illustrate how the difficulties faced by children and young people whose dyslexia is not recognised or supported might develop into behaviours that may have serious long-term consequences.

Section 6  Co-occurring factors

This 2 part section explores other neuro-developmental conditions (some also known as specific learning difficulties or SpLD) that may be co-occur alongside dyslexia.

Co-occurrence (or co-morbidity) is either the presence of one or more disorders in addition to dyslexia or the effect of these on dyslexia.

Part 1 explores co-occurring visual and auditory factors while Part 2 looks at developmental issues:

  • specific language impairment dyspraxia
  • dyslexia
  • ADHD

Some medical conditions and physical impairments that may co-occur with dyslexia are also considered.

Section 7  Identification of dyslexia

This 2 part section explores reasons why some aspects of dyslexia does not become apparent until children begin to have difficulties within the upper primary or secondary curriculum and why indications of dyslexia at these stages are not always recognised (as dyslexia) by primary class teachers and secondary subject teachers.

In part 2 you will explore how dyslexia might affect learning across the curriculum and consider different learning styles of children with dyslexia.Some barriers to learning and appropriate support strategies for dyslexic learners are identified.

Section 8   Characteristics of Hidden Dyslexia

This section identifies some characteristics of Hidden Dyslexia and considers these alongside likely dyslexic triggers for difficult behaviour at home and at school.

Children and young people whose dyslexia has not been recognised or fully understood may not be successful learners, and some of them may have little or no motivation to learn – sometimes resulting in behaviour issues at home and in school.

This section also highlights the impact of stress on the self esteem and attainment of learners with dyslexia.