Like many individuals with learning differences, children and adults with dyslexia are at risk for developing low self-esteem, especially in a society that often misunderstands the diagnosis and associates reading and writing fluency with intelligence or success. The good news is that having family members and teachers who are positive, patient and supportive, goes a long way toward counteracting this phenomenon. Families and teachers who intervene early to support dyslexic children academically and emotionally are giving these children the best chance of developing a positive self-concept throughout their lives. The inverse is true as well. If a child is neither understood nor supported, he or she may develop anxiety and depression that will further disrupt an already difficult learning process.
Parental support may include helping a child find and develop an area of deep interest that matches his or her strengths. A child can learn to rely on his or her expertise to counteract insecurity about learning difficulties. Parents may also need to stay involved longer than anticipated when their dyslexic child enters early adulthood. The transition between the teens and 20s is a period of great change when a person with dyslexia may struggle with finding the right career, adapting to increased demands of work and independent living, and continuing to cope with an invisible disability that is often misperceived by others. Ongoing love, guidance and encouragement during this time can make a world of difference.