New service – parental coaching for children with anxiety

Children with dyslexia often experience anxiety. For a parent, this can be very stressful. Our new service is a one-to-one, tailored consultation between parents and our professional coaches. These coaches are registered with the Association for Coaching and with the British Psychology Society and they will provide expert support for you to become confident that you can support your child in overcoming anxiety and building self-esteem.

Find out more here.

By |2024-04-24T09:30:13+01:00December 26th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Calling university students with or without dyslexia

We are delighted to be able to share trainee clinical psychologist Holly’s further request for help with her research into dyslexia and emotions that she is conducting for her PhD from Royal Holloway University London. Many of you were kind enough to help Holly design her research process. Whether or not you helped with this, we would like you to take part in the research.

If you are an undergraduate university student with or without dyslexia, Holly would love you to answer a few questions.  You will receive a £5 Amazon voucher as a thank you for taking part.

You can find out more below and you can take part here:

By |2024-04-24T09:30:19+01:00December 5th, 2023|Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Dyslexia and mental health research – university students

Here at Helen Arkell, we are very keen to support and promote research into dyslexia and SpLDs. We ask you to take part in research if you can and, where possible, we will share the results of research with you. By doing this, we hope to understand dyslexia and the experiences of people with dyslexia and to be able to offer even better dyslexia support.

Holly is a clinical psychology doctoral student looking for dyslexic university students to help with her research. Her thesis is looking at dyslexia and mental health.

Here’s Holly’s message:

I am a trainee clinical psychologist at Royal Holloway University of London.  

I am looking for students with dyslexia who would like to be involved in the design process of my doctoral research. My research will investigate the emotional impact of academic studies on students with dyslexia. 

I would like your help thinking about the situations at uni that make students feel anxious. 

As experts from your own lived experience, you would add great value to the study. We will pay you £25 Amazon voucher for your time. 

If you are interested or know anyone that might be please let me know by contacting me via can arrange to meet online via MS Teams for around an hour.

Many thanks, 


By |2024-04-24T09:33:25+01:00April 18th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Research study – Understanding Reading and Anxiety

Can you help with research into the links between people’s reading skills and anxiety?

The University of Surrey is conducting research into this and, whether you have reading difficulties or not, would like you to take part. It’s for those aged 18 and over who speak fluent English.

The survey takes 20 to 30 minutes and is found here.

By |2024-04-24T09:33:50+01:00February 16th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news, Research news|0 Comments

Dealing with back-to-school anxiety

Anxiety over going back to school can affect both parents and children and this year, as with last year, returning to school while Covid is still with us could be particularly stressful. 

While as a parent you are managing practicalities such as school uniform, the household, the logistics of school runs and work commitments, the feelings of nervousness and anxiety that build up in some children can sometimes be overlooked.

After a long summer break children have become accustomed to lazy mornings, treats and a lack of routine. They may have several worries around returning to school: being away from you, having new teachers, being able to keep up with the work and anxieties around relationships with friends. They might also be anxious about mixing with a large group of people and due to Covid.

Support your child in the run-up to school

Have an informal chat with your child about whether they are looking forward to going back to school. They may say no because they just prefer holidays – you needn’t put the idea in their head that there is something to worry about!

If they have any worries, listen and offer empathy and support; talk about what is concerning them, and think of solutions together about how they could manage situations. Focus on the positive aspects of school, providing encouragement and getting them to talk about the things they like about the school day. You could ask your child to write a list of what they are looking forward to going back to school.

Build confidence

Key to helping children feel at ease about starting their new school year is to build their confidence by offering specific praise and, most importantly, being a great listener. When children know they can share their worries, and their parents will listen, they go to school with the parents’ calm, steady voice in their heads feeling reassured.

Remember that what might feel trivial to you, may be a big worry for your child, so be careful not to dismiss worries. It’s also ok to be sad that the summer is ending and ok for you to say that you are sad about it too.

For primary-school-aged children, have short, relaxed chats about positive memories of school – when a teacher was especially kind, fun things they have done with friends – so that they remember that school is a positive experience.

Look after the basics

Getting back into a routine can make a huge difference to your child’s anxiety. Ensure they are getting enough sleep and returning to term-time sleep patterns. Go back to regular healthy eating schedules and include physical exercise so that they sleep well.

Get ready together

Make fun jobs of getting ready for school together – prepare by organising equipment, stationery, lunch and school bag.

If school has informed you about changes to the school day – handwashing, bubbles, drop off and pick up instructions and other Covid arrangements – make sure you pass these on to your child so that they know what to expect and what will be different to last year. Unknowns can be scarier than knowns.

One lovely suggestion on those first days back is to give your child a little reminder that you are thinking of them. This might be a sticker or toy in their lunchbox, but our favourite idea is to draw something very simple on your child’s wrist or the back of their hand – perhaps a smiley face or even just a coloured dot – to remind them you are ‘with’ them through the day.

Once school has started

Give your child time and space to talk about their school day and any worries. This may always seem to happen at bedtime which can be frustrating but it’s important to listen.

If your child is going to a new school, be prepared for it to take some weeks for them to settle in – and bear in mind that most children are happy as soon as they are out of your sight and with their friends!

When to take it further

If your talks bring to light serious concerns about bullying or worries about inappropriate behaviour from fellow pupils, follow this up with the school.

Lastly, if you are worried that your child is more anxious than is normal and this persists after returning to school, consider talking to school or your GP about getting help. If your concerns are around how they learn and this is causing anxiety, speak to the teacher, and check our website for advice on getting your child diagnosed with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs).

Useful links – this is a useful video that was recorded for the 2020 return

By |2024-04-24T09:35:55+01:00August 25th, 2022|Team blog|0 Comments


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