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Dyslexia Assessments

5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health 

How are mental health and dyslexia connected? 

As we enter Mental Health Awareness Month, we are focusing on the relationship between dyslexia and mental health.

What do the two have in common, and how can you support your child’s mental well-being for the future? 

What is dyslexia?  

Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the way the brain processes information.

This means that anyone with dyslexia can have difficulty processing and remembering information. It can impact many areas of life, not only reading accurately and writing fluently but also organisational skills, coordination and memory.    

Sometimes the signs of dyslexia are unrecognised, and 80% of children leave school without a diagnosis. 

When do signs of dyslexia begin to show?

During a child’s school years, the struggle associated with dyslexia becomes more pronounced. Specifically, as they engage in frequent reading and writing tasks, their development is closely measured alongside their peers in an educational environment.   

Our indicator checklist helps to know the signs of dyslexia as a child develops through school and later as an adult.  Most schools will have a SENCo trained in dyslexia and learning difficulties. Often you can find details of the SENCo on the school website.   

What is mental health?

Mental health is how we think, feel and act – and it determines how we handle stress, make choices and relate to others.   External factors such as school, employment, home and friendships can impact our self-esteem and confidence.

And for undiagnosed dyslexics, they will naturally take longer to understand and learn. Quite often, the lack of output is perceived as a lack of effort.   

This can trigger a downward spiral of insecurity and self-belief which can affect friendships, as they begin to pull away from large groups and discussions.  

How mental health impacts dyslexic children

For a child, if left unchecked, this can be incredibly detrimental to self-esteem. Although they may try to mask their feelings with aggressive social behaviour, which will make it difficult to make friends and leave them even more isolated as a result.  

Additionally, they might become quiet, withdrawn, and reluctant to engage with others both in and out of school. Over time, they may be perceived as loners by their peers, developing social nervousness that persists into adulthood. 

Recognising the clear link between dyslexia and mental health, seeking an assessment becomes crucial. Early diagnosis allows for the implementation of support mechanisms, preventing the negative impact that undiagnosed dyslexia can have on a child’s well-being.

A dyslexia assessment identifies specific learning difficulties, empowering parents to collaborate with schools in creating a positive learning environment for their children. 

How can you support a dyslexic child’s mental health?  

Supporting your child through life’s turbulent challenges is crucial for your child’s development. And luckily, there is a mountain of support, tools and resources readily available for children and parents.   

Here are a few ways you can help your child.  

A Clear Path with a Dyslexia Assessment
  1. Consider a dyslexia assessment: If you suspect your child may have dyslexia take a look at our indicator checklist. Most schools have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) who can assess your child for learning disabilities and provide guidance on the next steps. 
  1. Reassurance: Let your child know that you are there for them. Whether through talking, journaling, or video communication, reassure them that they can openly share their worries with you. Knowing that they have your support can make a significant difference. Some of the worries may also be found in our blog – 10 things a child with dyslexia wants you to know – Dyslexia First (dyslexia-first.co.uk).

3. Get moving: Motivate your child to participate in sports or activities that they enjoy. This could be in school or the evenings and could build their self-esteem and help to make new friends.   

  1. Prioritise a healthy diet: The saying ‘a healthy diet, a healthy mind’ rings true. Research1 suggests that certain foods can promote cognitive function and overall brain health. For example, fatty fish like salmon can improve focus and attention, whilst blueberries and spinach can help relieve stress.   
Sleeping child

5. Quality sleep: Sleep plays an important role in a child’s emotional well-being. After all, when we’re tired, our minds suffer. For dyslexic individuals, quality sleep is even more critical. It helps them manage emotions effectively and improves overall mental health. 

Undeniably, supporting your child with their mental health should be a priority as without it, it could have a long-term impact on them.

If you believe your child is struggling at school, or showing signs of dyslexia, visit our website for a selection of blogs, useful resources and information on how to support your child and arrange an assessment.  

About Dyslexia First  

Dyslexia First provides first-class dyslexia assessments for children and adults across the North West.    

Owner Michala Morton has worked in Special Needs for over 20 years, across many educational settings. She works closely with The British Dyslexia Association and The Dyslexia Association assessing children and adults.    

Based in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Dyslexia First is conveniently accessible by train, linking to Central Liverpool, Manchester and cities within an hour’s commute.    

By helping you to get the right support, a world of possibilities will open, that might not have seemed possible before.    

Contact us to discuss your assessment needs. Email michala@dyslexia-first.co.uk or call 07711 904 589.