One group of people is often forgotten: those with mild dyslexia symptoms. We say these people have hidden learning differences, which does them an injustice and disservice. They need help just as much as those with moderate to severe dyslexia do, and we can reverse their dyslexia also.
What do we mean by mild symptoms of dyslexia and flying under the radar? Those with mild dyslexia become adept at deflecting attention from their learning differences. They’re able to hide their problems from the rest of us. Many parents don’t question what they see or hear, and they just assume their child doesn’t like school or has more talent in other areas.
Behavior, social skills, and grades don’t raise any red flags in the parents’ minds. Many people continue this pattern of hiding and deflection throughout their lives.
Here are a few signs to look for in your child.
• He doesn’t have the behavior problems that those with more severe signs and symptoms of dyslexia have.
• Her grades aren’t great, but they’re not low enough to attract much attention.
• He may be a bit awkward socially, but he’s basically a good kid and stays out of trouble.
• She’s intelligent enough to figure out her schoolwork, even though it may take a while—and she doesn’t comprehend the subject matter.
• He’s talented in other areas, such as drama, forensics, or sports, and everyone pays attention to that instead of academics.
Often, these children (or their parents) don’t realize they have dyslexia for many years. They don’t excel, but they don’t fail. They are in the middle or slightly below. They may have a healthy self-esteem because they focus on other areas in which they have talent. They complete their schoolwork because they are required to, not because they like it.
By the time these students are adults, these habits and behaviors have become a way of life. Following are signs that an adult may have mild dyslexia or hidden learning differences.
• She may take longer than most to finish job tasks.
• He works in quiet jobs so he can stay out of the spotlight, and these occupations require little to no reading, writing, or speaking.
• She keeps to herself at home and at work. She doesn’t allow anyone to hear or see her work, read, or pay bills.
• He doesn’t like to work in groups or with partners.
• She doesn’t call attention to herself at work, with peers, or in social settings. She hides, just as she did when she was young.
The saddest part of this is what we all have lost. These children and adults are truly talented in so many ways, but they stay in the closet instead of letting themselves shine. Not everyone excels in the traditional school and work models. Many people are gifted outside the typical education and job settings, but they merely “get by”.
If we equip parents and teachers to recognize mild dyslexia symptoms and hidden learning differences, we could help everyone let his or her talents out for everyone to see. But parents are often in denial that there is an issue, which forces the child to sweep learning differences under the rug. Sometimes one or both parents had the same problems and cannot break free of the shame and painful memories.
The saddest part is when parents allow their pasts to revisit their children. They may have no patience with their children and treat them as they were treated years ago.
Let’s stop the cycle today and reverse dyslexia once and for all.
If your child has hidden learning differences or needs mild dyslexia help, let’s get him or her out of the closet. Contact me to set up a no-charge consultation.