A new centre to help children with dyslexia is set to open in Abu Dhabi next month. The Ta’leem Training and Skill Development Centre will be based in the Al Nahyan area and is said, by its founder, to be the first centre of its kind in the UAE.
Emirati mother Shereen Al Nowais set up the new centre after experiencing first- hand the challenges of having a child with the learning disability. Speaking to local media about the challenges she faced along with her eldest son Mohammed, now aged 18, she said that his teachers thought he was lazy as he was struggling academically.
“I noticed his problem late and since then I began researching about learning difficulties,” she said. “I read the symptoms of certain disabilities and that is when I realised he was dyslexic.
“I saw my son suffer and so did I with him. I felt his pain as he was growing up. I witnessed the change in his behaviour. That is why I decided to open a centre.”
The centre will provide support, cognitive assessments, tests in Arabic and English, and will check individual children’s performance. The assessments will be carried out by a qualified psychologist, Dr Jennie Guise. These will include verbal, visual and written expression tests along with an IQ test.
“It is very important to recognise the skills and talents that dyslexic people can show, if they are given the right conditions for learning and demonstrating their knowledge. It is often said that dyslexic people can be creative thinkers, good at problem solving and innovative thinkers.
“Often, the dyslexic person has learnt to be very resourceful and has developed a good work ethic because of the challenges that he or she sometimes faces. These skills are very valuable to the nation.”
Another key goal of the centre is to 'help destigmatise the negative image that learning disabilities have among parents', according to Dr Gad Elbeheri, another specialist working at the centre. The centre has the support of the ministry, Abu Dhabi Education Council and Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. It is sponsored by Abu Dhabi University. Children of all nationalities are welcome to attend.
For more information, visit taleemcentre.com.