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Signs Your Teenager Might Have Dyslexia and How To Best Support Them

Dyslexic student in the classroom

Navigating high school can be a challenging journey for any teenager, but for those with dyslexia, the hurdles can feel insurmountable. Dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects writing, reading, and spelling, often goes undetected in teens, leading to frustration and disengagement in academic settings.

As parents and guardians, it's crucial to recognize the signs of dyslexia in teenagers and provide them with the support they need to thrive. In this article, we'll explore the signs of dyslexia in teens and offer actionable strategies for fostering their educational and emotional well-being.

Understanding Dyslexia in Teenagers

In high school, students with dyslexia may exhibit reading difficulty, and struggle with complex texts, written assignments, and standardized tests, impacting their academic performance and confidence. Despite its prevalence, dyslexia often goes undiagnosed or misunderstood, perpetuating misconceptions and hindering support efforts.

Dyslexia in Schools

Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many high schools may lack sufficient resources and training to support students with this learning difference effectively. Teachers and staff members may not always recognize the signs of dyslexia or understand how to accommodate students' needs appropriately. Consequently, students with dyslexia may struggle to access the accommodations and interventions necessary for their academic success.

However, it is essential to recognize that dyslexia does not reflect a lack of intelligence or effort on the part of the student. Many individuals with dyslexia possess unique strengths, such as creativity, problem-solving skills, and spatial reasoning abilities. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, high schools can help students with dyslexia recognize and capitalize on their strengths while addressing their challenges.

Signs of Dyslexia in Teens

Student with dyslexia working on classwork

Dyslexia isn't merely a matter of reversing letters or trouble learning. It encompasses a range of difficulties. Recognizing dyslexia in high school teenagers can be challenging, as symptoms may manifest differently from person to person. However, there are several common signs that parents and guardians can look out for:

  • Trouble reading aloud: Teens with dyslexia stumble over words, experience difficulties processing and sounding out words, or struggle to maintain fluency when reading aloud.
  • Poor spelling and writing skills: Teens with dyslexia may have trouble spelling words, frequently misspell words with irregular spelling patterns, and struggle to organize their thoughts coherently in writing.
  • Difficulty with sequencing: Teens with dyslexia may have difficulty following instructions in sequence, organizing their thoughts in a logical order, or understanding the sequence of events in a story.
  • Slow reading rate: Teens with dyslexia may read at a slower pace than their peers, often needing extra time to process and comprehend written information.
  • Avoidance of reading and writing tasks: Due to the frustration and anxiety associated with their difficulties, children with dyslexia may avoid reading for pleasure, writing assignments, or participating in class discussions that require strong reading and writing skills.

What Does Dyslexia Look Like?

Professional evaluation is essential for accurate diagnosis and tailored support. Comprehensive assessments involving parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals help uncover the specific needs of teenagers with dyslexia.

Understanding the diagnostic process empowers parents to advocate for their children and access appropriate resources and accommodations.

How To Best Support Teenagers With Dyslexia

Supporting a teenager struggling with dyslexia requires a multifaceted approach that addresses their academic, emotional, and social needs. Here are some strategies for effectively supporting teenagers with dyslexia:

  • Early intervention: Early identification and intervention are key to helping teens with dyslexia succeed. If you suspect your teenager may have dyslexia, seek a comprehensive evaluation from a qualified professional.
  • Provide accommodations: Work with your child’s teachers to ensure they receive appropriate accommodations, such as extended time on tests, access to audiobooks, and preferential seating in the classroom.
  • Utilize assistive technology: Experiment with assistive technology tools, such as text-to-speech software, speech recognition software, and digital organizers, to help your teenager overcome barriers to learning.
  • Promote self-advocacy: Encourage your teenagers to advocate for themselves by teaching them to articulate their strengths, challenges, and learning preferences to teachers and peers.
  • Foster a growth mindset: Emphasize effort, progress, and resilience over perfection, and remind your teenager that dyslexia does not define their intelligence or potential.

How Lydian Academy Can Help

Three happy students from Lydian Academy

At Lydian Academy, we understand the unique needs of students with dyslexia. Through our one-to-one classes and personalized learning environments, we tailor instruction to each student's strengths and challenges. Our dedicated educators provide support and guidance, empowering teenagers with dyslexia to thrive academically and beyond.

  • Collaboration with educators and leveraging community resources are essential in advocating for teenagers with dyslexia.
  • Working together to implement inclusive practices and support systems ensures their needs are met effectively.
  • Empowering teenagers to understand their strengths and challenges fosters resilience and self-awareness.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your child on their educational journey and sign up for our virtual open house.

We offer a unique year-round one-on-one learning experience, personalized to you and your schedule.

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