Stealth Dyslexia is a term that was coined by Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide to describe dyslexic students who are able to demonstrate age-appropriate reading ability and strong verbal skills, and thus are often not identified as having learning difficulties. While teachers may view such a student as average or even above-average, parents often feel that their child is underperforming and has much greater academic potential. In fact, many of these students are intellectually gifted and have developed useful compensatory skills that enable them to overcome their weaknesses.
The term “stealth” was used to convey the fact that many of these students “fly under the radar” and are not detected as struggling students. Although they may be underperforming, they are typically are not failing in school, especially during the elementary school years. Therefore, any difficulties they are having are not severe enough to warrant intervention within the school setting.
Dyslexia does not only present itself as a reading disorder; however, struggling with reading is one of the most common indicators of dyslexia. Yet, “stealth dyslexic” students often test at or above benchmark on reading assessments. This is especially true if only the composite scores of assessments are reviewed. Stealth dyslexics are usually skilled in silent reading comprehension.
Typically, stealth dyslexic students are intellectually gifted and able to perform “well enough” in school that their actual struggles go undetected and unaddressed. In fact, many stealth dyslexics are not diagnosed with dyslexia until later in their life, if ever. Yet, understanding dyslexia and the many different ways it presents in students can ensure that all dyslexic students receive the support needed to reach their academic potential.
To learn more about stealth dyslexia, PC READS suggests visiting the website: http://www.dyslexicadvantage.org and searching for articles on this topic.