Dyslexic chil­dren can com­pete with their peer­son­ev­ery level – as long as they get the right support, dis­cov­ers ShivaKu­marThekkepat

Friday - - Report -

When his sev­enyear-old daugh­ter, Sallyann*, strug­gled to cope with stud­ies in her new Dubai school, her fa­ther Roger* as­sumed she sim­ply needed time to ad­just to her new cur­ricu­lum. She didn’t seem to un­der­stand the maths lessons, her hand­writ­ing was in­de­ci­pher­able and her read­ing just wasn’t get­ting any­where. “I hate my new school,” the lit­tle girl com­plained each morn­ing. When she be­gan cry­ing on the school run, Roger con­sulted a coun­sel­lor friend, who sug­gested he wait and watch. “We knew chang­ing schools can be trau­matic, he told me,” says Roger. “So he ad­vised me to ob­serve her as many chil­dren find it hard to ad­just.”

At first her teach­ers agreed, but when weeks passed and Sallyann was still strug­gling with ev­ery sub­ject, and fall­ing be­hind the class, Roger and his wife Dilly pan­icked. “She was our only child so we had no one to com­pare her with,” says Roger. “But her teach­ers were con­cerned too and so fi­nally we took her for tests.” They showed she had dys­lexia. “My im­me­di­ate con­cern was the ef­fect it would have on Sallyann,” Roger says. “We didn’t know any par­ents who had a dyslexic child, so I felt as if I was ven­tur­ing into the un­known.”

As the shock wore off, Roger was re­lieved. If his daugh­ter had a recog­nised learn­ing chal­lenge, then she could also be helped.

Her school didn’t pro­vide any support for dys­lexia but he found out about the Lex­i­con Read­ing Cen­ter at Jumeirah Lake Tow­ers, a well-known one-of-its-kind in­sti­tu­tion that aims to en­able chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties to reach their aca­demic po­ten­tial. He had also read a book

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