Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dyslexia needs more attention

Sheikh Hamad Al Mualla, member of the ruling family, went to UK for support with his dyslexia.
Reem Mohammed / The National

Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Mualla’s decision to talk publicly about his struggle with dyslexia is a brave step towards shining more light on this much misunderstood condition. When Sheikh Hamad started school, he faced difficulties getting the support he needed from his teachers, who characterised him as “lazy”. He eventually found the encouragement to finish his studies in the UK. By talking about his own struggles, he has helped open up a discussion about the needs of many other students who do not receive the same level of support.
The lack of understanding about dyslexia, which is part of a global problem concerning learning difficulties, helps explain why there is such a stigma associated with the condition. Dyslexic children have been unjustly painted as lazy, unintelligent or unwilling to make the effort to study.
It has been traditionally hard to get a proper diagnosis for dyslexia because of the difficulty in differentiating it from other learning challenges. It’s true that dyslexia is the most common cause of reading difficulties, but students also face challenges in spelling, speech and memorisation.
Ultimately, dyslexia needs champions like Sheikh Hamad who are open and honest about their stories and the challenges they have faced. Our education system should work to increase support for children.
Unfortunately, some teachers are unable to detect the signs of dyslexia and have little experience in dealing with it. And so we need to train our teachers in this area.
Sheikh Hamad has taken a bold step to raise attention about this misunderstood and stigmatised issue. His bravery should be applauded. His decision to speak out will help our society deal with the problem and not be afraid to talk about it.
If even one child or educator learns from Sheikh Hamad’s example and asks for help or learns more about this condition, then we will be on the right path towards helping dyslexic children.

No comments:

Post a Comment