Dyslexia in Healthcare: How Can People Be Better Supported?

Dyslexia is a learning disability which primarily affects the individual’s ability to read and spell. It does not affect someone’s intelligence, although, it can cause challenges when it comes to communication, which can lead to misunderstanding from others. Here are some challenges taken from a study which explored the first-hand experiences of dyslexia:


  • Writing thoughts down on paper
  • Learning to read
  • Pronouncing words and jumbling phrases
  • Slower processing of written/ spoken words
  • Following directions
  • Reading aloud
  • Memorisation
  • Needing more time to learn


There is research to suggest we all show mild signs of dyslexia as we get older due to a gradual decline in brain functioning. Since dyslexia impacts a person’s ability to communicate, it is important to consider how people can be supported within the healthcare setting. With this in mind, for Dyslexia Awareness Week, we will be exploring what procedures in health and social care could be put in place to benefit both residents and nurses.


Spreading Awareness

Where dyslexia affects communication, this can in consequence affect other areas of life, including mental health and social interactions. In many cases, it is identified from a young age but it is still important for healthcare professionals and patients to understand the condition so the relevant support systems can be put in place.


Ensuring Accessible Materials

Making use of technology can really help with this, such as using audio aids and devices to help with writing. Also, consider using plain language and providing information in audio formats to ensure comprehension and compliance with treatment plans.


Empathy and Patience

Everyone is different and everyone will have their own needs, so it is important that a person can feel comfortable enough to speak up about their needs, so you can ensure the best support for them. Also, recognising the extra effort these individuals may put into understanding and expressing themselves, can foster a more supportive and inclusive care environment.


For more information on Dyslexia Awareness Week visit the British Dyslexia Association



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