Friday, June 02, 2006

Second dyslexic kids centre opens

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: When Foo Shearn was six years old, he could not even spell the word "ibu".
His frustrated mother had no idea what could possibly be wrong with her son.
But now, words flow easily as he reads his favourite Pokemon comic book, an example of how a child can improve by being correctly diagnosed and getting help for his dyslexia.
While many people have misconceptions about dyslexic children as "slow", "stupid" or even "retarded", it is simply an impairment in the brain’s ability to translate images received and can go undetected in the early ages.
Federal Territory Dyslexia Association president Sariah Amirin said there had been cases where dyslexic children in rural areas were locked up because their parents and other villagers thought that they were crazy.
Recently, she launched a new dyslexia centre in Subang Jaya in addition to the current centre at Persiaran Kuantan near here.
"It is still not enough for the 300,000 children who are suffering from dyslexia and we have a waiting list for our centres," she said.
The centres provide a three-month programme of multi-sensory learning and the building up of the child’s confidence through encouragement and support.
They have a 90 per cent success rate in improving a child’s learning abilities.
The fees are RM450 for each child enrolled in the Subang Jaya Dyslexia Centre, but scholarships are given to needy ones from funds raised by the Nur Foundation of Open Minds, and with some funding from the Government.
Since dyslexic children need the attention of a qualified teacher, the learning process is intensive where there is a ratio of one teacher to a maximum of five children.
The centre also relies on volunteers and helpful parents.

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