5 Ways Dyslexia Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

By Emily Lapkin

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Dyslexia makes reading and other language-based tasks difficult, but it can also affect your child’s social skills. Here are five common social challenges your child with dyslexia may face—and ways you can help.

123Found this helpful
5 Ways Dyslexia Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

Having dyslexia can sometimes contribute to social issues on top of learning difficulties. Here’s what that can look like—and ways you can help.

1 Social Challenge

Your Child Doesn’t Get the Joke
The dyslexia link: Dyslexia can make it hard for your child to understand jokes or sarcasm.
How you can help: Tell jokes or stories at the dinner table to help your child practice responding.

2 Social Challenge
Your Child Has Trouble Finding the Right Words
The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia can’t always find the words they want to say—especially if they feel strongly about the topic or need to respond quickly.
How you can help: Give your child time to think. Slow down the overall pace of the conversation.
3 Social Challenge
Your Child Misses Social Cues
The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia might not pick up on body language, facial expressions and other social cues.
How you can help: Watch your child’s favorite shows with the volume off. Ask your child to guess how a character is feeling based on his body language.
4 Social Challenge
Your Child Hesitates to Message Friends
The dyslexia link: Kids with dyslexia may shy away from texting because they have trouble understanding the abbreviations.
How you can help: Show your child how the abbreviations work. Some are based on spelling (“idk” for “I don’t know”) and others on how letters and numbers sound (“l8r” for “later”).
5 Social Challenge
Your Child Remembers Things Inaccurately
The dyslexia link: Dyslexia can make it hard to recall specfic words or details. This can lead to confusion about what friends said.
How you can help: Play games that can help strengthen memory. Have your child name the different kinds of cars on the street and then say the names back to you a few minutes later.
Graphic of 5 ways dyslexia can affect your child's social life
Graphic of 5 ways dyslexia can affect your child's social life

Not fitting in can take a toll on your child’s self-esteem. But there are many ways you can help your child build confidence and social skills.

Try Parenting Coach for tips on how to help your child work on making friends and interact with peers. Learn how to give praise that boosts confidence. And tell your child about celebrities with learning and attention issues like dyslexia. Knowing that famous people have overcome the same challenges he faces could help build his self-esteem.

About the Author

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Emily Lapkin

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Reviewed by Sheldon H. Horowitz, Ed.D. Nov 27, 2013 Nov 27, 2013

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