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Beyond cognitive deficit: the everyday lived experience of dyslexic students at university

Cameron, HE (2016) Beyond cognitive deficit: the everyday lived experience of dyslexic students at university. Disability & Society, 31 (2). pp. 223-239. ISSN 0968-7599

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Abstract

This study explores the lived experiences of three dyslexic university students as they negotiate a number of different learning spaces within their higher education institution. The students completed reflective diaries for a period of three weeks and were subsequently interviewed about the experiences they recorded. The transcribed data from the diaries and interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The following four themes were constructed following analysis: getting things out of my head; holding back – performance as risk; ever-present inner voices – effort of constant self-monitoring; and not belonging in academic spaces – metaphors of misfit. This study argues that attention to the everyday experiences of students with the dyslexia label is as important as knowledge of cognitive differences in the drive to create a more equitable learning environment in higher education.

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