There has been much debate in recent years regarding dyslexia with many researchers and educators giving their views on whether to label individuals or not.
A discussion that keeps on coming up is how self esteem is affected by learning differences. Gentry (2019) wrote about the importance of diagnosing dyslexia at the earliest opportunity. He noted that ‘A greater understanding of the nature of dyslexia can have a life-long impact ... Many millennials with a late-in-life dyslexia diagnosis report having spent most of their lives feeling stupid. And that has consequences.’
One of the most important variables that affect a person's life is self-esteem. Many believe that although academic and literacy skills are important they are not more important than a healthy attitude to who and how you are.
Early screening, intervention, and proper support in school may help children avoid social and emotional issues or problems meeting adult challenges later in life (Cosden, Patz, and Donahue 2010).
A person who has weaknesses in an area of functioning but has good self-esteem is very likely to succeed and be happy. They often have a growth mindset and positively look for a way to overcome difficulties. A person with low self esteem may lack courage and drive and find it hard to see positives in the things they do achieve.
When considering how best to support your child, it’s important to ask the question; 'What will best strengthen their self-esteem?' It might be working extra hard at those areas of weakness such as reading, spelling, phonological, memory-for-detail or analytical things. Given the wide range of possible weaknesses in an individual’s cognitive profile, a strength of the formal assessment process and report is that it can help direct efforts to the area of most need. This can therefore help learners make improvements at a quicker pace and in the process support an increase in self esteem.
If you are interested in a formal diagnostic assessment, please contact us to book.