Reading Anxiety and the Fear of Letters

Plenty of dyslexics can empathise with reading anxiety, or a phobia related to reading. This anxiety is marked by a student’s avoidance of reading, feelings of dread when asked to read, and a general disbelief in her or his own ability to read.

Though dyscalculia is less well-known than dyslexia, there are significantly more articles and research available on math anxiety as compared to reading anxiety (see our article on math anxiety). A quick Google search for math anxiety will turn up plenty of hits, while the results for a similar search for reading anxiety veer off into anxiety conditions in general. (Scroll down to read more.)

Symptoms of math and reading anxiety.

Symptoms of math and reading anxiety.

Different factors could effect the onset of reading anxiety. As children are expected to attain literacy skills at ever younger ages and ever earlier points in their educational careers, pressure on both students and teachers mounts. A child who is developmentally simply not ready to read may be made to feel inadequate when he or she cannot meet reading requirements that would pose no problem in another year’s time.

There is also no doubt that learning disabilities such as dyslexia can result in a child having a fear of reading and of letters, especially if there is a lack of diagnosis and intervention. How sad that children come to associate books with fear and shame, instead of exploration, imagination, and learning.

For more resources on dyslexia, including intervention possibilities, have a browse through our blog and feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments.

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