Cognitive, emotional, and social elements of life are all impacted by dyslexia, which lasts throughout adulthood. Education is important for adult development, but it can be really strenuous for dyslexic people since it creates problems in understanding the language and limits to their employment choices. Reading, writing, and communication difficulties make the transition to employment a significant obstacle. Social interactions are impacted by dyslexia as well, which can result in concerns with isolation and low self-esteem. In order to better understand the different kinds of experiences of adults with dyslexia, this article looks into these obstacles, reviews the literature, and suggests solutions.
Text by: Fotis C. Syropoulos, Adjunct Lecturer at University of Sunderland, CELTA, BSc, MSc (MBA), Med & Frantzeskaki Evdoxia, PhD student, University of Cyprus, Department of French Studies, EFL/FFL Teacher
Dyslexia: A Brief Overview
Dyslexia, characterized by persistent word recognition, spelling, and decoding difficulties despite adequate intelligence and instruction, stems from atypical brain processing in phonological awareness, naming speed, and verbal working memory (Peterson & Pennington, 2015). Beyond reading and writing challenges, it affects text comprehension, thought organization, and effective communication (Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2005).
Though often recognized in childhood, dyslexia's prevalence among adults is substantial, affecting 5% to 17.5% of the global population (Peterson & Pennington, 2015; Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2005). This persistence beyond childhood presents unique challenges for adults. Some receive school-based interventions, while others remain undiagnosed or undertreated, lacking essential coping strategies and accommodations. This affects their pursuit of education, employment, and social interactions during the transition to adulthood, where self-reliant reading, writing, and communication are vital.
In addition, the strenuous and continuous effects of dyslexia highlight the necessity of providing adult learners with specialized support. Adults' resources are constrained because most therapies now in use focus on early development (Peterson & Pennington, 2015). In order to comply with this, policymakers, companies, and educational institutions must recognize the lasting nature of dyslexia and create adult dyslexia treatment options.
Challenges in Education
A person's ability to grow personally depends on their ability to learn, yet those with dyslexia frequently struggle with issues from their school days. Support that is inconsistent during the academic years makes it harder to advance in education and employment. Decoding, tracking, and processing difficulties make it difficult for dyslexic individuals to understand complex texts and participate in higher-level learning.
Writing, an important way to communicate and evaluate at the same time , encourages these difficulties with mistakes in syntax, spelling, and grammar. These mistakes weaken the value of their work and decrease their self-assurance in their ability to express themselves. Specialized educational strategies are important for solving these issues. Dyslexic people can be given the tools they need to successfully navigate academic material by receiving explicit education in phonological awareness, decoding, and comprehension techniques.
Equitable access to education requires accommodations, such as extended exam time, alternate assessments, and accessible materials. It is possible to enable dyslexic students to flourish in school settings by recognizing unique learning profiles and offering specialized support.
Barriers in Employment
Adults with dyslexia experience obstacles in their academic and professional lives, particularly when transferring to a higher education institution. It might be difficult to get accommodations in college or university, which can affect students' professional trajectories. Job-related challenges, such as reading and writing requirements, have an impact on prospects for employment. Protections and accommodations are provided by laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Communication problems, awkward interviews, and difficulties with written content all present challenges in the workplace. Flexibility and concessions at work can improve wellbeing. Spelling and expression issues might make job searching difficult. To break down barriers and create a friendly workplace for adults with dyslexia, inclusive practices—such as the use of visual aids and awareness—are essential.
Future Directions: Advocacy and Awareness
Organizations aimed at promoting dyslexia work to dispel misconceptions, educate the public, and create better communication. To stop incorrect assumptions and provide specific support, it's essential to completely understand how adults with dyslexia are affected. To account for a variety of learning characteristics, extensive changes to education and policy are required. Governments can enforce anti-discrimination laws and adjust workplace accommodations. It is impossible to overstate the value of adaptive exams, supporting technologies, and teacher training. Employers should be made aware of the positive impacts of dyslexia and encouraged to apply inclusive recruitment procedures. The key ingredient is having a significant collaboration between organizations, businesses, organizations that advocate for people, lawmakers, and individuals. Awareness, early detection, and support for dyslexia should be promoted through educational activities. An inclusive, empowered society can be achieved by promoting empathy, eliminating stigma, and taking into account different learning preferences.
In order to examine the constant obstacles that people with dyslexia have to face regarding their desire for education, work, and social integration, this article was centered on the vital importance of inclusivity and equal opportunities for all. Education should be flexible to accommodate various learning styles since empathy is essential in social relationships for mental health. The employment market also has to offer accommodations for infinite involvement. For equality to be achieved, advocacy, public awareness campaigns, legislative reforms, and inclusive workplaces are all essential. As a society, we are obliged to evaluate and take under consideration the persistence and contributions of dyslexic people. More study is needed in order to identify practical and cutting-edge techniques and assess how these people have changed through time.
ADA, D. A. (1990). Americans with disabilities act. Title II Public Services and Transportation.
Peterson, R. L., & Pennington, B. F. (2015). Developmental dyslexia. The Lancet, 386(9998), 803-815.
Shaywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, B. A. (2005). Dyslexia (specific reading disability). Biological Psychiatry, 57(11), 1301-1309.