In order to shed personalized light upon some of the confusions surrounding dyslexia, this study draws upon critical disability studies to share the stories of mothers of children with dyslexia. This feminist autoethnography shares the voice of the researcher alongside interviews with 5 participants, all mothers of children with dyslexia, who were in their 40s, and ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, results illustrated that the children inhabited an “in-betweenness” in their disability, in the ways dyslexia was less visual and therefore misunderstood. Likewise, the children presented a great deal of resistance in their learning, which was later understood as a way of protecting themselves. Parents faced several emotional and financial battles. Educational implications include suggestions for negotiating the “in-betweenness” of reading disability, as well as strategies for navigating resistance in learning. This study emphasizes the need for more participatory research that involves students with dyslexia, and their parents.


Dyslexia, Critical Disability Studies, Reading Disability, Parenting a Child With Dyslexia, Feminist Methodology, Autoethnography

Author Bio(s)

Christine Woodcock, Ph.D. has always loved school, reading and children’s literature, which is what inspired her to pursue a doctorate in Reading from the University at Albany. She is passionate about working with children, families, and teachers around issues of literacy. Christine is now the Program Director for the Reading program at American International College. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kwowy@hotmail.com.

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