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  • Writer's pictureArmelle

Stealth Dyslexia: Too stringent a term?

I can't remember the exact point where I started talking about my dyslexia or my struggles with it, but over the past few months I've been reflecting on its impact on my self image both before and after my late diagnosis.

I've explored how it's had influence over how my physical appearance is presented - I've always felt indifferent toward categorising dyslexia because no matter the severity it's still a challenge, not to mention the attention from outside the neurodivergent community.

No matter how or when it features in every day life, ableism doesn't discriminate, plus, every dyslexic brain is completely different. We may process information in the same different part of the brain to non-dyslexics, but that doesn't mean we all think or act the same.

It was this paradox that led me to create Girls with Dyslexia, because as much as it's for spreading awareness of common dyslexic traits, it's teaching myself and others to embrace however it presences within us.

When I came across stealth dyslexia in the first ever book I bought on dyslexia - The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain by Brock Eide & Fennette Eide I was mesmerised.

And when I confirmed with my personal tutor at the time that I am stealth dyslexic, I was overjoyed. Stealth dyslexia means that someone still processes information in the same part of the brain to other dyslexics, but comprehension is average or above.

My issue now is (and I have since learnt that me being overjoyed that I 'wasn't that dyslexic' was just a mask to make me look like I had everything under control):

we may be labelling too specifically something which are just simply aspects out of our very control like environment, schooling, etc.

Comprehension and the like are a measure of intelligence, sure, but it's down to how well we adapted to our education that matters most when learning how to live with our dyslexic brains. By saying someone is stealth dyslexia, are we meaning that they have benefitted from a better education, had the right sort of education for a dyslexic, or had the proper support growing up?

Equally, those with late diagnoses like me are held highly for being stealth dyslexic when really we've unknowingly bricked up our dyslexia to the outside world, masking what makes us... ourselves.

So I suppose what I mean by all this is: we're holding people in contempt of their dyslexia when it's actually more down to the environment that we should be holding responsible.

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