Strengths-based peer support approach to dyslexia
Dyslexia has often been viewed as a disability that needs to be remediated. Dyslexia is now being considered a variation of human brain development, neurodiversity, that is attributed to specific dyslexic strengths. It was primarily seen as challenges with word recognition, poor spelling, decoding and phonological difficulties, and reading comprehension. Poor self-image, low self-confidence, and a lack of belonging are widely reported by people with dyslexia. Research has shown that students with dyslexia are predisposed to advantages including Material reasoning, Interconnected reasoning, Narrative reasoning, and Dynamic reasoning, among others. Following a strength-based approach, these dyslexic strengths have the potential to be enhanced for academic and social purposes. A review of the literature on effective teaching methods suggested bibliotherapy is a useful tool in primary education. This project and the accompanying picture book ‘Building Blocks’ show that with the knowledge of dyslexic strengths for teachers and students, along with the implementation of peer support through bibliotherapy, dyslexic students have the potential to benefit socially and academically.