Today, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) has published The Human Cost of Dyslexia. The report, which is the first to look comprehensively at the psychological impact of dyslexia on individuals and families, brings together experts, primary research and first-hand experiences of those growing up with dyslexia.

Primary research for the report of 1,300 parents of children with dyslexia found:

  • 95 percent of parents feel they lacked the skills and knowledge to support their dyslexic child.
  • Nearly half of parents reported that they spent over £1,000 extra per year because of their child’s dyslexia.
  • 58 percent of parents report their children try to avoid discussing their dyslexia, a staggering 82 percent of parents report their children try to hide their difficulties relating to dyslexia and 85 percent of parents report their children feel embarrassed by their dyslexia.

Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair, APPG for Dyslexia and other SpLDs, said: “This report is stark reading and shows irrefutably that we need to do more to identify people with dyslexia sooner and support them better to reduce the emotional and mental health issues that are currently too prevalent.”



The report makes the following recommends to reduce the psychological impact of growing up with dyslexia and the family supporting young people with dyslexia:

  • The clearest solution lies in the training of specialist dyslexia teachers. Such teachers would be able to support learners, oversee and direct teaching and support provision, and carry out diagnostic assessments that identify individual needs.
  • Training for classroom teachers has been light touch and focussed on awareness raising and not training at the specialist level that is required in order to support learners and enable them to access the curriculum in a way that leads to engagement and longer-term academic success.
  • There is currently no roadmap for how young people’s mental health should be supported, despite commitments to developing parity between its treatment and that of physical health.
  • Parents want accessible information of a good standard. If formal guidelines are put in place, local authorities will have to comply, and parents will be better informed to support their children.
  • Fragmentation of the SEND support systems under the Children and Families Act 2014 has created confusion for parents and has made the system problematic for non-experts to navigate – schools with multiple LAs in their vicinity are confronted with incoherent paperwork and practices, which makes implementing appropriate support problematic.

Policy recommendations are based on evidence from the British Dyslexia Association and Driver Youth Trust to APPG for Dyslexia and other SpLDs.