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The Dyslexia - Stress - Anxiety Connection

Individuals with dyslexia are confronted regularly by tasks that are, either in reality or in their perception, extremely difficult for them. These tasks might be reading, spelling, or math. If they have experienced success at mastering this kind of task in the past, good stress helps them face the challenge with a sense of confidence, based on the belief that “I can do this kind of task.” If, on the other hand, someone has met with repeated failure when attempting this or a similar task in the past, his or her body and brain may be working together to send out a chemical warning system that gets translated as “This is going to be way too difficult for you! Retreat! Retreat!) That’s bad stress in action.

And remember, perception is everything! It doesn’t matter if a teacher, a friend, or a spouse believes that you can do something; it’s that you think you can do it that matters. Read more

Dyslexia and Anxiety: What You Need to Know

Kids know how important reading is. They hear it from their parents and teachers starting at a very young age. So when kids with dyslexia struggle with that vital skill, it can create feelings of anxiety.

In most cases, those feelings are passing and limited to situations that involve reading. That might be anything from reading a menu to taking notes for a book report. But sometimes, kids with dyslexia and other learning differences develop a bigger problem with anxiety. Learn more about the link between anxiety and dyslexia, and ways to help your child. Read more

Support for Anxiety in School


Individualized Education Plan (IEP) via Special Education*

  • Data-based assessment of student’s present levels of functioning related to anxiety (ie. the student’s needs and how disability in this area impacts progress in the curriculum)

  • Goals in IEP related to anxiety (Ex. ”Student will demonstrate the ability to accurately recognize her level of anxiety through the use of a visual self-rating system (e.g. feelings thermometer) with 80% accuracy, as compared to teacher observations and data.”)

  • Progress monitoring in IEP to see if student is meeting individualized goals to grow in skills and close gap with peers

  • Services of specialized teachers to teach your child how to achieve their individualized goals and monitor their progress towards meeting goals. For anxiety, this can include positive behavioral support / plans.

  • Monitoring teacher who oversees student’s performance and challenges in all classes. Also coordinates support between student, parent & educators.

  • Classes with an In Class Support teacher for additional support, additional tutorials, etc.

  • Accommodations to address student’s unique needs in IEP such as “Access to quiet area (counselor’s office, water break etc.) for calming or decompressing anxiety” or “Set reasonable time limits for homework to avoid OCD redoing, rechecking, rereading, or simply worrying that the assignment wasn’t done well” or “Extended time on assessments to ease pressure and alleviate worry about running out of time.”

504 Plan

  • Accommodations as noted above in IEP plan 


* Reminder: All services provided via special education should be provided in the least restrictive environment, which is a typical classroom whenever possible. Special education is a service, not a place.

Links to learn more


43 Helpful IEP and 504 plan Accommodations for Anxiety


Helping Kids with Feelings of Anxiety & Worry


39 Behavior Goals for an IEP


Podcast | Tilt Parenting Podcasts on Anxiety

A selection of podcasts related to anxiety from the Tilt Parenting Podcast, which has more than 200 episodes of powerful and inspirational conversations with top authors and parenting experts on all things differently wired kids.

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