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Hidden Disabilities

What is it? 

Hidden Disabilities is a joint label for disabilities and difficulties that are not immediately obvious. You cannot tell just by looking at someone whether they are dyslexic or not. In fact, you can know somebody for a long time and not realise that they have dyslexia.

What's even worse is that sometimes the disability will appear as odd behaviour that people think of as personal failing. That is why it is important to realise that many people struggle with things that seem natural to others. This is not because they don't want to fit in or try to be difficult but because their brain is wired slightly differently.  

Because these issues are hidden, there are many more people with these difficulties than we assume. Sometimes this is called neurodiversity. The following disabilities count as hidden disabilities (although some of them may be more visible than others in the more severe cases).

  • Dyslexia (always hidden)
  • Discalculia (always hidden)
  • Dyspraxia (hidden in most cases)
  • ADHD (hidden in most cases)
  • Autism (hiddden in many cases)