Learning Disablity gets a new start in Dubai and Middle East

Published: 18th January 2010
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How little Sania got diagnosed with dyslexia, understood by her parents and teachers, and lived to her potential as an artist, happily ever after.

Little Sania is a bright young child living with her parents in Dubai. She goes to an English school in her neighbourhood. At a tender age of 7, she possesses an incredible talent for drawing pictures. Her father who is a well-known doctor, chooses to ignore this and tells her to concentrate on her studies.

One day Sania was playing with her friends. Her father had warned her to complete her homework.

Realising the time, she came home rushing to complete the homework.

But Sania had a a few problems. She couldn't spell words correctly. She had problems reading. She had difficulty writing.

Terrified of her father, she somehow managed to complete her work. When her father came home, he saw many mistakes in Sania's homework. He grew wild with rage and yelled at her.

Sania felt terrible and cried for hours. She had given her best efforts, but as usual it wasn't to be. Her father got her wrong once again.

This is a true story of the many Sanias in our midst. Little Sanias who suffer from learning disabilities. Little Sania's who get crushed in an environment that's insensitive to their disabilities. Sanias, who are under a lot of pressure from parents, teachers and society to perform like their peers who aren't similarly challenged.

The problem Sania has been diagnosed with is dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that manifests itself as a difficulty with reading, spelling and in some cases mathematics. The majority of parents and regular schools aren't aware of what dyslexia is. They think all children should behave and comprehend equally. Or at least most teaching methods and parental expectations of children are such.

Why is it that most parents resort to shouting instead of understanding?

Children who genuinely suffer from learning disabilities get depressed and crushed because of such parental and educational system ignorance and often callousness. What we really need to do is cut them some slack once we understand their problem.

This is where we need institutions and schools with professional guidance which can understand, assist and educate such children with learning disabilities: Dyslexia, Discalculia, Attention Deficit Disorders, etc.

Learning can't be complete without understanding. Or else, it's just spoon-feeding. Most parents stumble upon the fact that their child is dyslexic, or has some learning disorder, very late. Worse, they find it hard to digest that their child faces learning difficulties. Denial is followed by force to mug up lessons.

This is exactly what Rania Anis, Founder of Lexicon Reading Center, in Dubai had discovered, and does not want for Sanias in Dubai. "As the mother of a child with learning disability, I have first hand experience of what mothers go through, in managing children with dyslexia. Compound that with a serious lack of good training facilities for children, teachers and parents, not just in Dubai but in all of the Middle East. It's precisely because of these issues that I decided to start a special training center for children with learning disabilities here in Dubai".

Lexicon Reading Center, Dubai provides a perfect platform for children with learning disabilities. It also helps parents, teachers and society to learn new and better methodologies in educating and assessing their children better. It helps little Sanias in Dubai, to achieve their potential, not just academically but also in their overall lives.

Lexicon Reading Center provides a whole gamut of services to children, parents and teachers:

1) Individual Educational Plan which covers different areas like reading, spelling, writing, math based on the child's specific learning disability

2) Group activities

3) Educational workshops for parents

4) Psychological counseling for parents, etc.

More details are available at http://www.lexiconreadingcenter.org/services

Lexicon Reading Center also sends a strong message to parents and teachers not just in Dubai, but to the whole Middle East. Change your attitude towards children with learning disabilities. This would definitely help shape the process of learning, which would in turn help many little Sanias achieve their true potential.

By the way Sania is now 9. She is a natural artist recognized by her parents and her peers, now. She has learned to cope with her disabilities now. Her parents, especially her father supports her drawing talent and send her to special classes. Next year, Sania plans to hold an exhibition of her work in Dubai.

For more information on how to manage children with learning disabilities visit: http://www.lexiconreadingcenter.org/

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