Supporting the Mental Health of Students with Dyslexia: What Educators Can Do?
Breanna Smith & Nai-Cheng Kuo
This issue is NASET’s LD Report was written by Breanna Smith & Nai-Cheng Kuo from Augusta University. Educators need to be aware of the complexities of dyslexia to support the mental health of students with dyslexia. Due to neurological disorders, these students process information differently from their peers without dyslexia, which affects their communication, functioning, and emotions. The purposes of this article are twofold. First, we review the current literature on the relationship between dyslexia and mental health problems to highlight the importance of early identification and support systems. Second, based on those findings, we discuss actions educators can take to serve students with dyslexia and their families better. Our synthesis of research studies indicates dyslexia and mental health problems are often intertwined. Educators can contribute at least five aspects to improving the mental health of individuals with dyslexia and creating a healthy learning environment for them: 1) raising awareness, 2) identifying internalizing and externalizing problems, 3) collaborating with stakeholders, 4) advocating for dyslexia, and 5) providing direct services.
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