Problems associated with dyslexia do not just limit oneself to reading and writing. Stigma and misunderstanding surrounding learning disabilities can also lead to insecurity, low self-esteem and in rare cases depression. Existing research often approaches dyslexia from a medical perspective which views dyslexia as a pathology and an individual problem. The reality portrayed in these studies is far from the lived experiences of many dyslectics themselves. Therefore, some voices suggest approaching disability from a social model, where disability is not caused only by someone’s impairment, but through disabling barriers in society. Over the past two decades, the neurodiversity narrative has gotten more traction among researchers and people with learning disabilities. This relatively new discourse views dyslexia as a positive variation in the human brain, rather than a problem that needs to be corrected. Online communities, such as a subreddit, provide an opportunity for dyslectics to share their own stories about their learning disability. These online forums offer an interesting dataset as they can give a platform to voices which are often overlooked by dominant institutions. By conducting a thematic analysis of 100 posts and 2029 comments of the subreddit page /r/Dyslexia, this study answers the following question: How do members of the subreddit /r/Dyslexia share their experiences with dyslexia? The analysis of the dataset reveals that the posts on /r/Dyslexia can be categorized under the following four main themes: Traditional view of Dyslexia, Dyslexia as a personal struggle, Dyslexia as a social issue, and the Embracing dyslexic identity theme. The results show that the posts and comments on /r/Dyslexia are diverse as people use different narratives and conform to a variety of identities when discussing their experiences with dyslexia. Moreover, this research finds that /r/Dyslexia is a useful site for sharing and receiving social support. The findings of this research could be used to develop a better understanding of the day-to-day experiences of people living with dyslexia.

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Dr. Débora Antunes
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Lotte Thereza Kok. (2022, June 27). Developing a Dyslectic Identity on Reddit A thematic analysis of /r/Dyslexia. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from