As readers, children with dyslexia are vulnerable to becoming academically, socially, and emotionally detached from education. Traditional educational practices tend to use quantitative measures to diagnose children to better serve their needs and researchers, who study students with special needs often focus on a deficit model that quantify just how far a child is from the norm. This practice, while full of good intentions, often creates emotional scars and feelings of inferiority in a child. This reductionist view of a disability is most likely different from the lived experience of the person with the disability. To get a complete picture, we must use qualitative methods to reveal children’s words, their interactions, and the entire context within which their disability is nested. In this study, I use qualitative methods to unpack the educational experiences of a group of students with dyslexia. Data were gathered from four sources: interviews with students and teachers, field notes, and journal entries. The words of the participants are presented to convey the emotional impact that a reading disability brings and to remind educators and researchers that quantitative methods do not always provide a complete picture of a child’s experience in school.


Dyslexia, Reading Disabilities, Qualitative Methods, and Emotions


We would also like to thank Stonehill College students Laura MacFee and Paul Sacco for their help with the literature review.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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