Abu Dhabi University (ADU) has hosted the first workshop titled: "Dyslexia and our community" organised by Ta'leem Training and Skills Development Centre, in collaboration with AIM Events, the conference and events division of Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group and Abu Dhabi Education Council.
Aiming to raise awareness about the importance of identifying and diagnosing cases of dyslexia in children at an early age, the workshop also encouraged parents to recognise the existence of specific learning difficulties that might be afflicting their children without shame or embarrassment.
Commenting on the workshop, Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of ADU explained that the University's keenness on participating in such initiatives that highlight important education issues that haunt many parents in the United Arab Emirates in particular and the Gulf region in general. "As Abu Dhabi University continues to celebrate its 10th year of excellence, hosting the first of its kind workshop in the UAE on Dyslexia only confirms our constant efforts in motivating members of the ADU family to positively and effectively contribute to crucial community issues and adopt creative initiatives that strengthen the country's efforts in social and human advancement. It's a vital part of the University's message, as it also reflects our mission of serving society and directing our resources, scientific research and academic efforts to study and monitor the needs of the community and contribute to finding solutions", said Dr. Ibrahim.
On her part, Shereen Al Nowais, Founder and CEO of Ta'leem Training and Skills Development Center said: "This workshop is the first step in raising awareness about the importance of identifying Dyslexia as a learning difficulty that some people may mistakenly believe is connected to a child's intelligence or caused by a mental or physical disability. This is a huge misconception." She noted that , "Choosing Abu Dhabi University as a venue for our first lecture stems from the University's status and its constant support of community initiatives. We were also fortunate to receive support from Abu Dhabi Education Council, in attracting teachers and parents from various public and private schools in Abu Dhabi to benefit from the wealth of information offered on Dyslexia, its symptoms and how to deal with it through training and organization." Nowais went on to confirm that the establishment of "Ta'leem Training and Skills Development Centre" stemmed from a personal experience with her son who in spite of his wits and intelligence experienced many difficulties in reading, writing and learning. She said: "After searching for several solutions over the years, I discovered that he suffers from Dyslexia which will permanently affect his performance on the educational and academic level. From there, the idea of the Centre began to take shape in my mind, hoping I could provide the help and assistance to other parents so they can identify Dyslexia or any other specific learning difficulties that can afflict their children".
During the workshop, Educational Psychologist Dr. Gavin Reid gave a presentation on how to recognise the symptoms of Dyslexia in children, how to address them through instilling confidence, avoiding pressure and frustration. He pointed out that Dyslexia affects individuals differently so there are extreme cases and mild cases that can be handled easily through assessment followed by training programs. Expert advice was also presented by Dr. Jenny Guise, Director of Dysguise an established learning disability consultancy, on the impact of Dyslexia on the memory and how a child recalls information.