Many children with learning disorders also present with low self-esteem that can result in poor engagement at school, poor emotional health and, at times, poor classroom behaviour and task avoidance.

Research has suggested that children with learning disorders are more at-risk of developing low self-esteem and emotional difficulties.  For these students, the ongoing challenges they face in the classroom can result in feelings of failure, a belief that they are not as smart as their peers, and a low opinion about themselves and their ability to perform academically.  When children with low self-esteem are faced with difficult tasks, it is not uncommon to see that they engage less productive coping strategies such as refusing to ask for help, avoiding tasks, engaging in distracting behaviours or becoming visibly upset and failing to complete tasks as they feel that they are "too hard".

The Clever Kids program is a small group social-emotional wellbeing program designed for children with a diagnosis of dyslexia. It aims to improve the participants’ self-esteem, resilience and assertiveness, and to help them to develop effective coping strategies, as research shows that these skills are linked to more positive outcomes for individuals with learning difficulties.

Topics covered in the sessions include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Effective and ineffective coping strategies
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving
  • Managing stress
  • Positive thinking
  • Assertiveness.


The Clever Kids program provides the participants with the opportunity to meet other young people with dyslexia, and to share their experiences with individuals who are facing similar challenges. 


Clever Kids is designed for primary school-aged children from year 3 to year 8.


The Clever Kids program is an after school group program that runs for 9 weeks during the school term.  DSF also offers an intensive mode, holiday program (2-3 days).

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