Quick tips to manage dyslexia and depression
- Quick tip 1Share what you’re seeing.Share what you’re seeing.
It’s important for parents and teachers to share information with each other. Set up a time to talk about what you’ve noticed and what might help.
- Quick tip 2Talk to a health care provider.Talk to a health care provider.
If your child with dyslexia seems depressed, tell the pediatrician or other health care provider right away. They can evaluate the situation and recommend next steps.
- Quick tip 3Address each condition.Address each condition.
Dyslexia and depression may happen together, but they’re two different conditions. Each one needs to be treated.
Kids with dyslexia are more likely than other kids to have depression, especially as they reach their teen years. (Depression is also common in kids with ADHD.)
Why do dyslexia and depression often co-occur in young people, as well as in adults? Researchers point to a few reasons:
- Stress: Dyslexia makes going to school stressful because nearly every class involves at least some reading. And chronic stress makes people more likely to develop depression.
- Low self-esteem: Trouble keeping up with schoolwork can wear down kids’ self-esteem. They may start to think they aren’t smart or that they need to hide who they are.
- Social isolation: Some struggling students would rather skip school or get sent to the principal than be embarrassed in front of their peers. This can lead to feeling isolated.
- Co-occurring conditions: Many people with dyslexia have co-occurring conditions, like anxiety or ADHD. These other conditions can raise the risk for depression.
With the right support, young people with dyslexia and depression can manage these conditions and thrive. Keep reading to learn what depression looks like in kids — and find out how to help.