x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Abu Dhabi centre for children with dyslexia takes on 16 patients in first week

The Ta’leem Centre has assessed 16 children in its first week alone and its founder has spoken of her happiness at seeing her dream realised.

Children with dyslexia now have the chance to be assessed, cared for and given the support they need at the Ta’leem Centre. Silvia Razgova / The National
Children with dyslexia now have the chance to be assessed, cared for and given the support they need at the Ta’leem Centre. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Children with dyslexia now have the chance to be assessed, cared for and given the support they need.

The Ta’leem Centre has assessed 16 children in its first week alone and its founder has spoken of her happiness at seeing her dream realised.

“I thought it would be hard to raise awareness and I was afraid people would not be brave enough to ask for help,” said Shereen Al Nowais, who was inspired to establish the centre after seeing her son suffer from dyslexia.

“I am happy to be serving those in the community in the UAE, without the need for them to travel abroad.”

Most of the children are Emiratis and all 16 were assessed in private by the psychologist at the centre, Dr Jennie Guise.

The centre provides support, assessments and language tests to determine a child’s ability, and then devises a way to help them to improve.

“There is a big need for assessments and afterwards I give feedback to the parents, explaining what I found,” said Dr Guise, who is from the UK.

“It is good for self-esteem to look not only at the difficulties.”

Assessments take about two hours and Dr Guise analyses the child’s approach and handwriting, and puts them on scoreboards.

“Parents get a written report with recommendations for the child and it is beneficial for schools too. Sometimes they don’t find out about the difficulties,” she said.

One of the parents had brought his his seven-year-old son to the centre for an assessment.

The father of three said his son has learning difficulties, which are exacerbated by medication that he has to take.

The boy is now in KG 2 and his studies are improving, but he still has ground to make up.

“I want him to have a chance in life. I want people to look at him like he is a normal child,” his father said.

Ms Al Nowais, from Abu Dhabi, aims to educate parents about learning difficulties such as dyslexia. and to partner with schools in the future.

The centre also held its first workshop on Wednesday at Abu Dhabi University, one of its partners.

The workshop outlined ways in which parents can develop a relationship with their child, how to build their confidence and what technologies and tools to use.

The Ta’leem Training and Skill Development Centre was launched in Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on February 8 and is open five days a week from 8am to 9pm.

For more information about the centre click here.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae