Dyslexia coaching

Written by Katherine Nicholls
Katherine Nicholls
Life Coach Directory Content Team

Last updated 24th June 2024 | Next update due 24th June 2027

All of us are uniquely different, and this includes the way we think, learn and see the world. Dyslexia is a learning difference that can impact our education, career and everyday lives. Here we look at how dyslexia can affect people and how a dyslexia coach can help to improve self-esteem and encourage the exploration of new possibilities.

What is dyslexia?

Typically when people hear the word dyslexia, they think about people struggling to read and write. While this learning difference does primarily affect these functions, at its core it’s about processing information. This means people with dyslexia can find it difficult to process information they see or hear. It can also affect organisational skills. All of this can have an impact on learning.

The British Dyslexia Association have adopted the Rose (2009) definition of dyslexia, and added the following:

“The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) acknowledges the visual and auditory processing difficulties that some individuals with dyslexia can experience, and points out that dyslexic readers can show a combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process. Some also have strengths in other areas, such as design, problem-solving, creative skills, interactive skills and oral skills.”

As we’ve learnt, dyslexia doesn’t just affect reading and writing, it can affect everyone differently. This can make it difficult to identify, but understanding the common signs can help you determine whether or not you (or your child) may have the condition.

To get a formal diagnosis, a diagnostic assessment needs to be carried out by a certified assessor. Some people find having a diagnosis useful as it helps them understand themselves better and get the support they need. 

What are the signs of being dyslexic?

  • getting the order of letters in words mixed up
  • reading and writing very slowly
  • finding spelling difficult
  • understanding verbal instructions but having difficulty with written instructions
  • struggling with planning and organisation

Helping to promote the fact that the way we think and process the world is just another difference between us as individuals, the term neurodivergence is being used more and more as an umbrella term. Dyslexia can be present alongside other neurological differences under this umbrella, including ADHD and autism, so these may also be investigated if signs are present. 

What does a dyslexia coach do?

Different interventions can be used to help those with dyslexia learn and these should be explored with doctors, teachers and experts in the field. A dyslexia coach typically supports shifting mindsets to be more positive, improving confidence and navigating challenges dyslexia can bring.

It can be easy to think negatively if you’re told you’re doing things ‘wrong’ or aren’t keeping up with your peers. You may blame your dyslexia and see it as a problem. A dyslexia coach can help you change your perception, seeing it as a difference and recognising the positives it brings to your life.

Helping you build confidence, coaching can uproot limiting self-beliefs you have about yourself and your abilities. This can then encourage you to set more ambitious goals for yourself and see dyslexia's challenges as obstacles to navigate rather than walls stopping you in your tracks. 

If you’re struggling at work, coaching can be an ideal support. Dyslexia-aware coaches will understand and recognise the problems that may come up for you at work (like organising your time) and help you solve those problems in a way that suits you. If you are in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for an access to work grant which can pay for certain elements of support, including coaching. 

Working through any fears of failure you may have, coaching aims to empower you to recognise your strengths and move forward, with nothing holding you back. 

Coaching can help the client to recognise when they are being treated differently due to their dyslexia and help them with confidence, assertiveness skills and the ability to recognise their rights to speak out and ask for what they need.

- Life coach Sarah Clarke

Coaches who can help with dyslexia

How can dyslexia coaching help?

There are several ways dyslexia coaching can support you, including the following:

Improve confidence

In a society that seems to praise sameness and conformity, standing out can be tough, especially when you’re young. Feeling behind others can take its toll on your confidence and you may believe you’re not smart or capable and this can have a lasting effect.

Having dyslexia can make certain things feel more difficult for you than for other people. In environments like school and work, this can become highlighted - even by teachers and managers (especially if your dyslexia is undiagnosed). 

For those with dyslexia, negative experiences from school can lodge themselves into the subconscious to become limiting self-beliefs which continue to have an impact long after leaving school. This is an area that coaching can support. 

Learning difficulties can lead to anxiety and depression if this low self-esteem is left to fester. If your mental health has been affected by dyslexia, or you suspect your child’s mental health has been affected, seeking support from a dyslexia-aware counsellor can help develop coping mechanisms. 

Succeed at work

If your confidence has been knocked and you had a bad experience at school, you may find it difficult to find a job best suited to your skills. For some with dyslexia, the application process in itself is enough to dissuade them from going for a job. 

Building up your confidence and taking some time to consider your strengths and weaknesses can go a long way in helping you move forward in your career

If you have dyslexia you may be more sensitive to workplace stress, especially if the work environment doesn’t suit your needs. Telling your employer about your learning difference means they’re legally required to make reasonable adjustments to make work more accessible to you. Remember, you do not legally have to disclose your dyslexia to an employer, but if you think it may affect the job, or may simply be helpful for them to know, you can.

Working with a coach can help you progress in your career, whether you're looking for a job that suits you or ways to reduce work-related stress. 

Reach your goals

Coaching can help you uproot any limiting beliefs you may have about your capabilities. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. They can help you set goals for your personal or professional life. Together you can outline a plan to make your goals a reality.

As you'll meet with your coach regularly, you will have accountability to take action. This can boost your motivation. With dyslexia-aware coaching, your preferred ways of learning will be taken into account here, helping you to uncover your strengths and skills. 

Where to find a dyslexia coach

If you’re ready to work with a dyslexia coach, directories like ours can help you narrow down your search. We verify qualifications and professional body memberships to ensure all coaches listed with us are trained, offering you peace of mind. 

Use our search tool to find the right coach for you. 

Further resources

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