Journal of Student Engagement: Education Matters


Dyslexia is a complex multi-faceted concept that hinders literacy development across the lifespan. Literature reports that parenting a child with dyslexia can be traumatic. This qualitative study begins to bridge a gap in the literature to explore the experience of parenting a child with dyslexia in Australia. A small homogenous sample of five mothers participated in an individual one-off, semi-structured, audio-recorded interview. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the overarching core of the participant’s experience was ‘A long difficult journey toward personal empowerment’. Five themes conceptualised this journey: grieving the loss of normal; fierce but reluctant warriors; navigating system failures; the changing sense of self; and hope for the future. This is the first known study to apply disability literature and a model of psychological empowerment (PE) to explain the evolving nature of parenting a child with dyslexia. Future research, therefore, could expand these findings across wider demographic samples to further validate these findings and inform the development of relevant support services to assist parents in the long difficult journey of parenting a child with dyslexia in Australia.