Dyslexia and the life course

  • McNulty M
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Abstract

The life stories of adults diagnosed with dyslexia as children were examined, with emphasis on the related emotional experiences. The life story method of narrative analysis was used to compare and analyze the accounts of 12 participants who were interviewed exten-sively. The findings indicated that self-esteem problems may emerge by early childhood as individuals contend with aspects of their learning disabilities that interfere with typical development. By school age, all participants noted self-esteem problems when they expe-rienced struggles or failures in school, which could feel traumatic. Testing and diagnosis improved self-esteem when conducted in a rele-vant manner that led to adaptation. The central plots of the participants' lives were characterized by the interplay between the functional challenges of their learning disabilities and the related self-esteem issues. Compensation involved the individual's areas of competence and the resources within the environment. Niches in late adolescence and young adulthood held potential to dramatically improve com-pensation. Participants generally exhibited four ways of life in adulthood and an added sense of emotional insecurity. Each attempted to integrate lifelong emotional experiences related to living with diagnosed dyslexia. T

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Authors

  • Michael A. McNulty

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