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