A dyslexia test must not be used as a certificate of convenience

Some people think they have a reading and spelling weakness confirmed so that they can sit back and relax. Some personal problems are then projected onto the dyslexia, which is not connected to it at all. It’s about psychological problems that can show up in social behaviour. A person with dyslexia can promote psychological problems in connection with a problematic childhood and learning difficulties that have not been overcome. Nevertheless, dyslexia is not a weakness with disease value, such an approach makes it too easy. Therefore, dyslexia testing should not be used as a certificate of comfort. It should be an impulse to tackle and overcome the problems.

It is not uncommon to see adult sufferers having difficulty reading and writing since childhood. They perhaps visited therapy offers over the social welfare office (§35a SGB VIII) or as usual in Saxonia,Germany, a special class, which is more common to most than LRS classes. In addition to these offers of help, only a few of those affected have a willingness to learn on their own, to cope with their problems. Therefore, the difficulties persist in in adulthood spite of the aid measures in childhood and adolescence. Without an independent will to learn, which should already be laid as a foundation stone at home, there is a high probability that the unresolved learning problems will be covered by psychological and personal difficulties that are not directly related to dyslexia. One should not project personal problems into a reading and spelling weakness, but rather have them treated by a psychologist.

A much more important approach must be to change the behaviour of those affected. If the mental balance stabilizes, there is the chance to compensate this weakness as far as possible in order to master life better. Those affected who get along well in life have often reflected on their difficulties and are able to understand their childhood or school biographical development. Only if the problems are understood, the chance exists to process them. Behavioural therapy can certainly be a help here, but unfortunately many behavioural therapists are not sufficiently familiar with this problem. In the case of depressive moods, which often occur in adults, we have already observed good progress in therapy. Adults with more severe psychological problems often find it more difficult or they do not want to admit that they have a mental problem in addition to their dyslexia. In adults, the number of people affected with mental problems does not seem to be small. The number is probably higher than among children and adolescents. According to our estimates, around 60-70 percent of those affected suffered psychological damage in childhood as a result of a problematic social structure and learning environment. Only this can explain the mental disorders that can occur in dyslexics.  Because dyslexia in itself is not a mental disorder. It is only a partial performance weakness in reading and writing.

In our opinion, the psychological problems are often due to an unprocessed childhood – the dyslexia should then serve as a projection surface. But dyslexia is not to blame for the problems in childhood. It needs active cooperation and the will to develop further with the upcoming tasks. Only then can it and life as a whole be mastered. A dyslexia test should not be a certificate for an illness. It is only an indication that you have to do something on your own initiative. At this point one’s own personal responsibility for life comes into play. Only a return to personal resources and targeted self-help will make it possible to overcome these difficulties. Only when the affected person realises that he is not allowed to lean back with a dyslexia test will he be able to overcome the difficulties in the long term.


A diagnosis of dyslexia must always strengthen the will to overcome weakness. It must not be a comfort certificate. Therefore, the value of a medical diagnosis of dyslexia is questionable. This diagnosis is intended to cement the belief that the problems are pathological and unmanageable. In our experience, many difficulties can be overcome in the long term, even in adulthood. However, there is no blanket solution here because the group of people affected is very heterogeneous.

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