Skip main navigation

Supporting students’ well-being


Group of studentsClick to expand

The most important factor in supporting any student is to protect and nurture their well-being. There are several ways to do this. First, create an environment where students feel safe. Acknowledge the student’s dyslexia. Give them opportunities to succeed. Know your students and avoid putting them in potentially traumatising situations, for example, by asking them to read aloud.

Another way to support students with dyslexia is to teach them how to self-advocate. The following steps are adapted from the Dyslexia Training Institute (2013, as cited in Edutopia, 2021):

  • Make sure students have a detailed understanding of what dyslexia is and what it is not.
  • Help students to develop and practise a short speech that they can use to talk to educators, family and peers about dyslexia.
  • Make a list of common dyslexia myths and teach students how to respond to them. For example, many people believe that words appear to move on the page for people with dyslexia. Dyslexia is not a problem with vision. It is a problem with the ability to manipulate sounds.
  • Ensure students know what their rights and responsibilities are within their educational context. Teach them what to do when they are unable to access their rights.
  • Help the student to determine what supports and adjustments would be helpful to them.

Students with dyslexia may have poor self-esteem and low self-confidence, especially in academic settings. Some may also be very embarrassed about their dyslexia and not wish to disclose their condition to others. Be sensitive to these feelings in all of your dealings with students, and refer them to a counsellor when needed.

Famous people with dyslexia

People with dyslexia often struggle with cultural stereotypes about what it means to be intelligent and successful, especially at school. It may be helpful to remember some of the many brilliant people who also have/probably had dyslexia.

Jamie Oliver (celebrity chef)

Jamie Oliver

Steven Spielberg (filmmaker, director)

Steven Spielberg

Anne Bancroft (explorer, author)

Anne Bancroft

Albert Einstein (physicist)

Albert Einstein

Pablo Picasso (artist)

Pablo Picasso

Stephen Hawkins (physicist)

Stephen Hawkins

Agatha Christie (novelist)

Agatha Christie

Bill Gates (Microsoft owner)

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