91% of teachers agree that unidentified dyslexia damages children’s self-esteem

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland has released findings from its latest research survey on the experience of dyslexia in Ireland to mark Ireland’s Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017.

Key findings of the research carried out include:

  • 82% of young people with dyslexia feel that the government does not provide enough support for students with dyslexia.
  • 90% teachers report that their pre-service training did not prepare them adequately for dealing with dyslexia in the classroom.
  • 93% of parents want specialist training on dyslexia for all teachers, and 88% want mandatory training on dyslexia to be included in all teacher training courses.
  • 71% of adults with dyslexia worry about disclosing their difficulty to their employer.

The research found that 72% of adults with dyslexia reported that having dyslexia has enabled them to develop skills in other areas, however, 57% of students and 62% of adults with dyslexia said that if they had the choice they would prefer not to have dyslexia.

Unidentified dyslexia can have a huge toll on an individual’s self-esteem as their literacy skills fall further and further behind.

Dyslexia Awareness week, running from October 2 to October 8, is calling on families, friends and the general public who are interested in supporting and creating awareness surrounding dyslexia.

As part of the awareness week, the Dyslexia Association of Ireland will be holding a series of information seminars and training events throughout the week around Ireland to empower parents, teachers, and people with dyslexia with key information on identification and evidence-based supports.

These seminars include a talk entitled Dyslexia – The Positive Future on October 3 and an adult seminar on October 5 where people can share their experiences and access support from other adults with dyslexia.

Rosie Bissett, CEO of DAI, said, “People with dyslexia have an equal right to education and this can best happen if their needs are identified early and appropriate supports put in place.

“Our education system needs to be more responsive to the individual needs of students, and should seek every opportunity to highlight and develop their unique talents.

“Society is missing out on the hidden potential of so many people. As one student in our recent survey told us: ‘The class does not let me show that I am clever. It shows the things I cannot do.”

She added, “We need an education system which is more responsive, and aware of the needs of students with dyslexia and this can be achieved through better education policy and with mandatory teacher training on dyslexia identification and support strategies.”

Donald Ewing, Head of Psychological and Educational Services of DAI, said, “Without a significant commitment to improve teacher training on dyslexia, there is a real risk that the needs of those with dyslexia will continue to go unnoticed and unmet, and so much potential will be lost.

“Every class teacher needs some knowledge on dyslexia identification and support strategies. Specialist teachers need advanced training to enable them to assess for dyslexia, and to support the school-wide provision of evidence-based teaching interventions.”

The Dyslexia Association of Ireland is asking people to tweet, comment and engage with Dyslexia Awareness Week - Dyslexia: Hidden Potential and use the hashtag #iwishyouknew when sharing stories to drive public understanding of the condition.

For more information on dyslexia and to see how you can support the work of the association, visit: here.

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