Improving Self Confidence of a Dyslexic Child

I have been working with many children with different level of learning difficulties. They are between the age of 5 to 8 years old. Most of them have very low self confidence and behavioral problems. I’ve discovered beside encouragement and motivation (which are very important), there are other practical ways we could apply to help these children to build on their self confidence. Hope you find the article below useful for your pursuit to make a difference to your child or other children with learning difficulties.

Ways to improve a dyslexic childʼs self confidence

by Phoebe L


Self-confidence is having confidence and being sure of oneself own value and abilities. In view of the difficulties a dyslexic child maybe experiencing peer pressure and familyʼs expectation on him/herself, a dyslexia child usually has low self confidence instead.

In order to help the dyslexic child to overcome their difficulties, firstly we need to help him/her to build a basic foundation to be secured and have self confidence.

A dyslexic child needs to be accepted as who he/she is. Itʼs important that adults i.e. parents, care taker and teachers who are in direct contact daily with the child need to be positive, encouraging in words and actions.

The followings are some of the ways the adults could help to improve a dyslexic childʼs self confidence:

Example of a Confidence Building Exercise

Things that I am good atThings that I have difficulty doing up until now
looking after my rabbits
collecting stamps
getting on well with other children
clearing the table
making people laugh
being friendly to grandpa
knowing about space and the planets


  1. Doing a written confidence-building exercise together. This exercise allows the child to list out his/her strengths in the ʽThings that I am good atʼ column. It is important that the adult helps to suggest him/her to list out especially the non-academic areas so to help this list to be longer. Then, he/she lists out the weakness in the ʽThings that I have had difficulty doing up till nowʼ column. It is important to create an opportunity for the child to express his difficulties. With proper support through this activity, a dyslexic child is able to identify that he/she has more strengths than weaknesses and also be able to accept his/her learning difficulties.
  2. Giving praise and complements. Giving praise to the dyslexic child when he/she has completed a project well or has done something in school even though it might be something of non-academic in nature i..e. helping the teacher. These praises help to build his/her desire to be better and have self confidence.
  3. Provide appropriate instruction. Giving a child appropriate instruction helps to provide experiences in which the child can achieve real success. By breaking down the tasks into smaller units, this will allow the child to be successful in completing the tasks given, thus help him/her to be more confident for the future attempt.
  4. Increasing motivation by the use of tangible and visual rewards are highly effective. This can be done when the teacher or school
    • allow the dyslexia child to go back and correct the initial errors, so that they can then return to have their work marked again and achieve 10/10,
    • correct the child right answer with checked and marked the incorrect answer with a small dot instead of a cross; the dot can then be changed into a check or tick when the child returns with the work corrected.
    • praise the child in front of other teachers and their parents for their efforts and small steps of progress.
    • give away certificates for effort and house or team points for efforts.
  5. Talking with and listening to him/her daily helps to identify the challenges and situations he/she experience. With proper complement and guidance, this will build his/her self-confidence and courage so that with the new knowledge and skills acquired, he/she could deal with future situation with more confidence.

Having mentioned some of the ways to improve a dyslexic childʼs self confidence, it is important that we always look for creative ways to help him/her to overcome the difficulties and discover his/her compensation strengths and talents with positive and loving approach. Therefore, I believe positive partnership between parents, teachers and school play a great role in building the self confidence of a dyslexic child.

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