An interpretative phenomenological analysis investigation into the subjective experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood
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AbstractA large number of adults remain unaware that the difficulties they encounter may be related to dyslexia. Diagnosing dyslexia in adulthood may provide the means to reasonable accommodation to help in areas of difficulties but may also impact on the individual’s sense of self. To date, little research attention has been paid to idiographic experiences of adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia and subsequent adjustment issues related to the diagnosis. The aim of this study is to develop indepth understandings on subjective conceptualisations, meaning making and adjustments issues to the experience of adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia. Semistructured interviews were conducted with seven individuals diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood to explore this experience. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) from which five superordinate themes emerged: ‘De-constructing the past to make sense of the present’, ‘Roller coaster of emotions to dyslexia and diagnosis’, ‘Stigma, stereotypes and stereotypical attitudes towards dyslexics’, ‘The Paradox of self-disclosure’ and ‘Support following dyslexia diagnosis’. These superordinate themes, with their associated subordinate themes, are expanded into a narrative account of adults’ experiences. The findings revealed that adulthood diagnosis of dyslexia entailed a range of experiential processes that culminated to ‘identity transformation’. These findings can help in deepening understandings of the effect of adult dyslexia diagnosis on identity; contribute to existing practices in counselling psychology, educational institutions and employment agencies providing supportive services for individuals with dyslexia. Keywords: Dyslexia, dyslexia diagnosis, adulthood, adult dyslexia, dyslexic experience, diagnosing dyslexia in adults, dyslexia disclosure, dyslexia and impact and dyslexia support.
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton For the award of Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
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