Can I start a tutoring business while having dyslexia?

Teaching is a profession that instills an active combination of information, care, and understanding within oneself. This is one occupation that has been around for centuries. 

But we live in a world that is ever-changing, and so are the dynamics of education. Being an educator now has new meanings where they are promoted to be inclusive of each child, accommodative of the learning pace, adapt and execute new ways of teaching and accept an individual just the way they are.

In a society that promotes equal opportunities for all, can it become any more accessible for individuals with learning disabilities to venture into new adventures, like tutoring? In this post, we will focus on the essential features of being in the business of tutoring as a dyslexic individual.

Tutoring business- Let’s see what is it all about

Teaching has been considered as one of the noble professions of all as tutors are responsible for building the blocks of tomorrow through their knowledge and teaching skills. Therefore, tutoring can be a lucrative business with low upfront costs and flexible work schedules.

This starts with the freedom of choosing a venue, as per one’s likeness and preference. It could be at a student’s residence, at the tutor’s house or at a location specified for similar purposes like a library. While tutoring is something that a university student might venture into to make ends meet, beginning a tutoring business is different and requires a specific skill set.

Running a business as opposed to working for someone else can have its own downsides and upsides, like 


  • Flexible hours
  • Opportunity for growth and expansion
  • Being your own boss allows you to be creative and accommodative


  • Marketing the business can be expensive
  • Students are temporary assets. This leads to instability and slow growth of the business.
  • Professional life might overlap with personal life
  • Lack of accountability can be deterring

People with dyslexia and tutoring business- Points to consider

Technology has made life easy and simplified our approaches to anything that previously needed physical involvement, like owning thousands of books on our phones that would otherwise require rooms of libraries. Similar is the case for individuals with dyslexia who aspire to be educators.

Dyslexia causes difficulties with verbal memory, verbal processing speed, and sometimes coordination and has no link to an individual’s intelligence. However, an individual with dyslexia does not necessarily have lower IQ levels.

Being a tutor with dyslexia provides an individual with personal insight and motivation to be more attentive in the classroom and sensitive to students with difficulties. Furthermore, it gives the tutors the chance to show that even with learning disabilities like dyslexia, it is possible to imagine, create and live a life of confidence and self-esteem. Notably, having dyslexia does pose challenges to the profession one chooses.

A research study done by Alan Morgan and Marie Rooney states the challenges that are posed while tutoring as a dyslexic educator. The dyslexic students who were seeking training to become educators mentioned that 

1. Spellings 

They faced difficulty when it came to spelling on demand. 

For ex: While teaching, if the students raised queries regarding the spelling of certain words, it was found to be difficult for the trainee dyslexic educators to respond.

2. Distraction 

Being easily distracted while teaching or explaining.

For Ex: If the teacher asked a question from the class, it was observed that teachers would tend to switch topics in the middle of the discussion, in case of long answers, which appeared rude. 

3. Organizing lesson plans 

Dyslexic trainee teachers felt difficulty in organizing activities and lesson plans as they tend to overwork by seeing the topics as a whole. 

For Ex: Creating extensively explained steps around an activity or a lesson to make sure that the topic is explained as a whole, color coding the important information with carefully curated notes, which had to be trimmed later to suit the teaching hours. 

4. Writing on board 

Trainee educators with dyslexia faced difficulty in writing on the board legibly. 

For Ex: It was seen that the trainees with dyslexia felt anxious to write on the board, or create posters as they doubted their ability to write legibly even after extensive practice, and their spelling ability. They required more time to do handwritten work as compared to a non-dyslexic educator. 

5. Reading aloud 

One of the major difficulties faced by dyslexic tutors was while reading out loud to help students learn through illustrations. 

For Ex: This issue was faced by these educators as they occasionally lost track of the pronunciation of the word, or couldn’t locate the problem being asked. However, this occurred only when the lesson or a topic was being taught through a verbal methodology which was accommodated by making the content familiar to oneself and practicing reading it, to be able to avoid distractions after query prompts. 

Is it possible to start a tutoring business being a learning disabled individual?

While the actual focus should be to satisfy the expectations of all the end-to-end parties involved in the venture, that is the parents, the student, and the personal satisfaction of the educator. 

It is possible to begin a tutoring business even with dyslexia through a carefully curated system of management and planning.

  • Proactive 
  • Investigated 
  • Discussed with parents and students 

If an adult with dyslexia has insight into their own learning style and management, then it is possible to approach the teaching methodology in a variety of ways that allow learners from all walks of life to process information effectively.

Using multi-sensory strategies to practice the teaching methods can allow the venture of tutoring as a dyslexic educator possible. Thus, we can say that if the dyslexic tutor is aware of their strengths and weaknesses, they can find a way to navigate through them and build a system that aids their maximum potential, whether it is teaching or skills like playing chess

Strategies and techniques that can assist in tutoring 

1. Management of literacy tasks 

This strategy includes the management of challenges that arise with different components of a language like spellings, pronunciation, meanings, etc. This can be navigated by adopting adaptive tools like electronic spell checkers, pupil monitors, advanced preparation of keywords, and acquainting oneself with the spellings and meaning of those keywords. 

2. Management of oral tasks 

This would involve adopting strategies to avoid challenges while reading the contents, or explaining a concept orally through illustrations. Thus, strategies that can be used: 

  • Advance preparation of lessons and their scripts 
  • Practice production of class displays through visual prompts
  • Mental rehearsal of the content 

3. Differentiation & Inclusion 

This strategy can allow the dyslexic tutors to use their natural ability to differentiate the typical topics to a subject and adapt the material of the lesson according to the strengths of the students in a class. This shall work to nurture their self-esteem due to effective learning and keep them motivated for future experiences. 

4. Layering lessons 

This strategy is effective when tutoring higher classes since the content to be taught can be complex and extensive. Thus, layering the lesson scripts with prompts and related topics together can help the tutor in making sure that they remember the sequence of the script and the lesson insights and don’t forget the important aspects of it. 

5. Creative aids 

This strategy would involve the educators using their strengths to elevate the understanding of the topics for the students. Dyslexic individuals tend to develop coping mechanisms to study effectively which could involve learning through symbolism, drama, or mnemonic singing. These strategies could be incorporated into teaching as well, making the modality the strongest part of the strategy. 

Dyslexics and business- An age-old link 

Entrepreneurs or as we like to call them, visionaries with dyslexia, like Richard Branson and Tommy Hilfiger, have changed the face of the industries they stepped in.

These individuals are representative of the fact that a learning disability stands ineffective towards a person’s success if the right modalities are used to nurture oneself. 

In fact, as they mention, having dyslexia might have actually contributed to their success as the disorder forces an individual to use their skills to strengthen their talent that would have otherwise gone to vain, and it is these skills that went on to become their first stepping stone towards their business empires. 


There is absolutely no doubt in acknowledging that an individual with dyslexia can also succeed in the tutoring business. Being an educator can be challenging but nourishes an individual with the satisfaction of filling the gaps they had to face as students. 

This post talks about how being a dyslexic tutor opens new avenues of teaching and allows them to share their potential while keeping a check on the potential challenges. It also shares significant strategies to navigate those challenges and how being an entrepreneur has a historical link with being creative around their learning disabilities.

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