PHASE II: IDENTIFICATION OF THEMES (2008 - 2011)
Continuing from Phase One, each of the 75 statements was printed on a card; each card denoted one participant-identified statement/experience related to being an adult with dyslexia. Participants were asked to group the statements “into piles that make sense and fit together.” Each participant decided how many piles to create and what each category (or concept) contained. Next, participants were asked to give each pile a phrase that they believed most accurately represented the statements in it and wrote the phase on the outside of unmarked envelope.
Participants also responded to a questionnaire composed of the 75 items. Participants rated on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) how well each item described their personal experience with dyslexia. The purpose of the rating task was to facilitate identification of the most and least common experiences of dyslexia within the participant group.
Based on the analysis and feedback from participants, a 9 life themes from participant experiences were unanimously selected:
1. Organization Skills for Success
2. Finding Success
3. A Good Support System Makes the Difference
4. On Being Overwhelmed
5. Emotional Downside
6. Why Can’t They See It?
7. Pain, Hurt, Embarrassment from Past to Present
8. Fear of Disclosure
9. Moving Forward
In short, the dyslexia concept map produced in this study is very compelling when compared to many other studies of similar purpose. Despite participants of different gender, ethnicity, geographic regions, and age, the social, emotional, and behavioral experiences with dyslexia are viewed and lived similarly by participants. Put differently, the experience is real, authentic, and genuine rather than fuzzy, amorphous, or incoherent. The study underscores that dyslexia is not something in your head, but is a day-to-day reality—both real and powerful and does not go away.