Dyslexia makes reading and spelling hard, but it can also affect social skills. Here are five common social challenges people with dyslexia may face—and ways you can help.
1. Not Getting the Joke
The dyslexia link: Struggling readers might not read as much as other people. So they might not get exposed to as many words, and the different ways people use them. As a result they may have a tougher time understanding idioms or puns.
How you can help: Look for ways to improve vocabulary and word play.
2. Trouble Finding the Right Words
The dyslexia link: People 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: Leave time to think and process. Slow down the overall pace of the conversation.
3. Missing Social Cues
The dyslexia link: People with dyslexia can have a harder time reading body language, facial expressions, and other social cues.
How you can help: Watch a favorite show with the volume off. Talk about how characters are feeling based on their body language.
4. Trouble Messaging Friends
The dyslexia link: People with dyslexia may shy away from texting because they have trouble understanding the abbreviations.
How you can help: Explain how the abbreviations work. Point out that some are based on spelling (“idk” for “I don’t know”) and others on how letters and numbers sound (“l8r” for “later”).
5. Remembering Things Wrong
The dyslexia link: Dyslexia can make it hard to remember specific words or details. This can lead to confusion about what friends said.
How you can help: Play games that can help strengthen memory. For example, name the different kinds of cars on the street and then say those names again a few minutes later.
Learn more: See how dyslexia can affect a child’s daily life.