How to Support Adults with Dyslexia – Strategies and Techniques for Successful Achievement

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty associated with reading, writing, spelling and word comprehension that begins in childhood. It is possibly a lifelong issue for many individuals. It is a topic that is less discussed and even more misunderstood.

As you grow up, someone with dyslexia may have difficulties with school work, experience school refusal or high levels of anxiety around attending school. This can extend into adulthood while looking for work, attending post-secondary, and even building social connections. All though dyslexia presents these challenges, adults with a learning disability can master the appropriate support system and learning strategies.

Here, we will discuss some of the most effective strategies for adults with dyslexia that provide the tools needed to become confident in the develop of their abilities.

Some Notable Symptoms of Dyslexia

Symptoms of dyslexia in adults can lead to increased stress, resulting in the inability to concentrate. Concentration is not the issue, as seen in ADHD. For someone with dyslexia, the problem is the amount of effort required to read, write, listen, or complete a task, which results in mental strain, leading to a lack of focus.

Some symptoms of dyslexia in teens and adults include issues with:

  • Reading
  • Completing math problems
  • Memory
  • Misunderstandings
  • Time management

Dyslexia-affected adults may also sloppily or incorrectly summarize a story they heard or read. In addition to these difficulties, you are likely to misunderstand jokes, phrases, and social cues, putting strain on the development of social relationships.

One of the things about dyslexia in many adults dealing with the condition is that you do not often see the apparent reading or related challenges. Childhood is about trying to fit in and do well in school. It may very well explain why the condition was left undetected in their childhood. Also, in the past, less attention was directed at learning disabilities.


Understanding Dyslexia

Before discussing any strategies, it is imperative to understand the true definition of dyslexia and how it relates to adults. Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to interact with language (Dyslexia Canada, n.d.) (Common Characteristics of Adult Dyslexia)

Dyslexia sufferers mostly experience reading fluency, word decoding, word comprehension, spelling, and language skills issues.

Other than this, it is necessary to mention that dyslexia doesn’t relate to intelligence, as many individuals in this situation display remarkable capabilities and talents in several areas.

Building Self-Esteem and Confidence

Dyslexia can sometimes cause low self-esteem and a tendency to be hard on oneself. Often, adults with dyslexia are unaware that their challenges are rooted in alterations in brain functioning. They often spend their life feeling like they have to work extra hard at work or school and may feel stupid or worthless.

We all want to feel good about ourselves, especially someone with a learning disorder. It’s important to support a person with a learning difference. Though living with dyslexia creates challenges in areas such as academia and professional life, it is significant to note that this can also affect a person’s self-confidence.

Now, there is a critical role to play for relatives and friends of someone with dyslexia. We need to help them build their strength and not feel insignificant. Focusing on strengths and their abilities can set a stage for positive growth.

Thus, try to create a positive and supportive atmosphere that favors individuals’ achievements and efforts. Make fair remarks, congratulate, and celebrate any improvement made, no matter how small. Dyslexia is a challenge to someone’s functioning, not a flawed personal characteristic. You may need to have patience with a friend or loved one who frustrates you when they don’t understand properly or seem to make many mistakes.

Developing Organizational and Time Management Skills

Dyslexic patients often struggle to put their thoughts together into logical order, and this also affects their organization and time management skills when they are stuck with planning and prioritizing activities.

You can help dyslexic adults with formulating methods to organize schedules, break up tasks into tiny bits of action, and set signposts that propel them forward.

Introduce visual tools such as calendars, planners, or apps to implement time management skills that encourage keeping tasks in check and time management. Support the application of checklists and reminders to reduce forgetfulness and stress. The  Ultimate Family Calendar is an excellent option for organizing daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.


Improving Reading and Writing Skills

Building literacy and writing skills could drastically impact a person’s confidence. Invent ways that include multi-sensory modalities for reading and writing, such as an Orton-Gillingham program, or audio books. Speechify is another great option for listening and talk-to-text features can work great for composing emails or notes.

Using small phonetics and practicing sight words can also be helpful. Facilitate regular participation in reading and writing exercises, providing a variety of relevant materials for their practical world exposure. It is important to note that practice may not yield massive improvements, or improvements may be gradual over the years.

It is best to learn the limitations of the individual and set realistic expectations instead of setting you both up for frustration.

Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is a proven practice that helps maintain the staying power of the ideas that you’re reading. As a study aid, it often helps avoid misreading words or slipping into mindlessness, which is a part of the problem of a dyslexic adult. In addition, it enables a more cohesive understanding of the text read. It aims to strengthen the sounds and appearance of words in memory.

Identically, read using your finger or a pencil; tracing can also be helpful for these reasons. By placing the ruler or the scrap of paper between the lines as you read, this track enables them to easily trace the line and go from one straight line to another.

Methods such as reading out, highlighting, and helping to become familiar with the words leave a strong feeling of the physical presence of words; thus, they ensure a dyslexic person’s trust and confidence.


Identifying Strengths and Accommodations

Another great way to help an adult with a condition is to start by first defining the strengths and areas of dyslexia. Encourage them to speak about their strengths, including creativity, uniquely identifying themselves, problem-solving abilities, and visual thinking.

Collaborate on a solution ranging from accommodations to approaches to tackling the condition. It might also require adapting teaching through the presentation of assistive technology, providing more time for tasks, and finally, seeking alternative learning and communication methods.

Seeking Professional Support for Dyslexia

Sometimes dyslexic adults and people with relevant disabilities cannot cope with their differences, and they may feel helpless in front of a new situation at a job or a new business that requires their readiness for change.

Some adults could be diagnosed as such for a long time, while other people suppose they might be either neurodivergent, dyslexic, or uncertain about recent diagnosis.

Supporting them is crucial. People with dyslexia might also consider professionals like teachers or psychologists, who are experts. You can suggest some reputable tutoring specialists, educational counselors, or advisors who benefit from customized help and advice.

Additionally, involving them in the framework of dyslexia advocacy organizations or support groups can ensure they get the right help, training, and guidance.


Helping adults with dyslexia requires patience, empathy, and commitment to conserving their inner resources and abilities through customized assistance. Implementing practical strategies and instilling confidence and support are among the steps that could help people with dyslexia overcome their obstacles and crush their life limitations.

It is necessary to acknowledge that everybody with dyslexia has a different set of particular circumstances. If we work closely together (collaborating and supporting each other), the outcome will be a more comfortable atmosphere for everybody.

Counseling can help with the experiences of low self-worth, depression, and anxiety that result from living with depression. If you, or someone you know is in need of support to help regain confidence through an understanding of self and self-compassion, we can help.

At Boomerang Counselling Centre, we have a team of individuals who have personal and professional experience with neurodiversity and provide caring, understanding, tailored care. You can learn more by visiting our website where you can read our bios, send us a message, or book a consultation online.



Dyslexia Canada. (n.d.) Dyslexia basics.

LoGuidice, K. (2008). Common characteristics of adult dyslexia.



We specialize in a variety of neurodiversity, behavioural, anxiety, attention, learning, social, and emotional problems. We also provide family support through parent coaching, counselling, and reunification.