It is not uncommon for children who have difficulties in school to experience stress and anxiety. While stress and anxiety might cause some of the same physical reactions in the brain and body, they are not the same thing. Generally, stress is a response to external factors that we’re having difficulty coping with, such as a big test or an argument with a friend. Symptoms of stress will typically disappear once the situation is over. Anxiety is a reaction to stress. Anxiety focuses on worries or fears about things that might happen, as well as anxiety about the anxiety itself. It is a feeling that is often out of proportion to the real or imagined “threat”.
Children with dyslexia can be particularly vulnerable to stress and anxiety. They regularly face tasks in school that are very difficult for them. They worry about reading, writing and math much of the time. Understanding their dyslexia and learning how to work around it helps them gain a better sense of control over their environment and is key to reducing stress and anxiety.
Click on the link below for a fact sheet from the International Dyslexia Association with more information on the links between stress, anxiety and dyslexia, as well as suggested readings and resources.