Dyslexic students need high levels of emotional support, and positive reactions from parents, peers and teachers, in order to prevent their diagnoses from negatively affecting their academic success and senses of identity and well-being. This is the conclusion of research by Professor Robert Burden, of the University of Exeter, presented at October’s Annual Conference of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The study, of more than 80 students, aimed to investigate the developing sense of identity of adolescent students who suffer from dyslexia. It examined whether they necessarily develop poor feelings of self-esteem and learned helplessness and, if not, what might be some of the key factors contributing to positive feelings of self-worth and ultimate academic success.
The research identified significant differences in self-identity and academic success between those students attending a specialist school for dyslexics and those from comprehensive schools, which appeared to be related to the support received and quality of their learning experiences.