Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stealth Dyslexia: When Writing is the Problem

With the new school year, we'd like to get word about what we call the Stealth Dyslexics, bright students of all ages who through analytic and problem-solving strengths have overcome perceptual challenges of reading, but may have severe disabilities in writing.

We call them Stealth Dyslexics because they are rarely recognized as being dyslexic because their vocabulary and reading comprehension may be so strong. And yet they may have dramatic difficulties with writing and spelling that lead to a lot of emotional anguish, inappropriate labels as underachievers, and inappropriate learning expectations.

The key feature of the stealth dyslexic is an enormous gap between written and oral expression. For individual stealth dyslexics, there are a range of dyslexia-related traits which can contribute to writing difficulties (also known as dysgraphia)- most common are visual letter or word form difficulties, but sequencing and sensory-motor issues are often also part of the picture.

Stealth dyslexics tend to thrive out in the real world beyond their K-12 years, but they need to be discovered sooner, to help them learn how to compensate for their unique perceptual issues (like missing words in short non-contextual passages) and as well as receive appropriate acommodations at the appropriate times so that their learning in all areas can progress. At times this may mean allowing them to narrate their work or use software which does not have as many demands on individual letter or symbol formation.

In the post below, we've listed some resources available for the middle-high school and above dyslexic who may need to keyboard math. We realize Stealth Dyslexia is a big topic - we'll post more on this soon.

For more on Stealth Dyslexia, look here: Library: Gifted Dyslexics and Stealth Dyslexia


  1. The link to your site doesn't work anymore, and I used to always send people there to read the article, it's so good! Do you have it up somewhere else? Thanks, Merry :-)

  2. Thanks, Merry! We're moving all our Dyslexia articles to You can find the Stealth Dyslexia here:

    We'll be writing be adding more articles about Stealth Dyslexia and the writing challenges of gifted children over the coming year, too. : )

  3. My 3rd grader is having this very problem at this point! Beautiful reader, very articulate, but can't put it on paper at all! Puts her in tears and I am a homeschool mom who is looking for answers anywhere! So glad I found this! Thanks!!!