Skip main navigation

Benefits of identification


Scrabble lettersClick to expand

One issue with supporting students with dyslexia is identification; a large number of people reach adulthood without knowing they have dyslexia (Maurer-Smolder et al., 2021; McLoughlin & Leather, 2013; Nichols, 2012). The sooner dyslexia is identified, the sooner a person is able to receive support.

Benefits of identification

Knowing that a student has dyslexia may be beneficial for the following reasons:

It is a first step in providing targeted intervention and support, including emotional support (Hatcher et al., 2002; Livingston et al., 2018; Nichols, 2012);

  • A diagnosis can help a person identify strengths and weaknesses and devise strategies to help work around their difficulties (McLoughlin & Leather, 2013);
  • A diagnosis can give students a sense of relief in that it explains a specific set of challenges which are separate from effort and intelligence (McLoughlin & Leather, 2013; Tanner, 2009);
  • A formal assessment for dyslexia is necessary for a student to be eligible for reasonable adjustments in most educational institutions, for example in Australian universities (Grimes, et al., 2019).


Please read the following article by Grimes et al. (2019a):

University student experiences of disability and the influence of stigma on institutional non-disclosure and learning

This article examines the impact of stigma on students’ willingness to disclose formally diagnosed learning challenges, including learning difficulties such as dyslexia. An important issue identified in this article is the impact of stigma. The effects of stigma can be so significant that they overwhelm many of the advantages of a diagnosis. For example, according to Grimes et al. (2019a) fear of stigma can prevent adult students from seeking support through potentially helpful services at their institutions.


Write down at least three advantages to knowing that one has dyslexia (from the student’s perspective). What are some potential disadvantages? Is it possible for teachers and other support staff to help mitigate any of these disadvantages? If so, how?

This article is from the free online

Supporting Adult and Adolescent Students with Dyslexia

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now