Press ReleaseA Thai boy’s journey to overcome challenges arising from dyslexia

November 23, 2020
A Thai boy’s journey to overcome challenges arising from dyslexia

Find out how you can support your child this World Dyslexia Awareness Week
at the international online forum hosted by DAS International

T (not real name) is a 17-year-old bilingual Thai student diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 12. As a non-native English-speaking student, he faced learning challenges in areas including oral fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, and writing. T is most comfortable expressing himself in Thai, but he wanted to improve his English reading and writing abilities before leaving for further studies in America or Canada.

Although T had a strong learning support system in school, his father approached DAS International, a subsidiary of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), for a 30-hour intensive specialist tutoring program to specifically address his challenges in learning English.

A reading comprehension and fluency test conducted before the lesson showed that T’s reading fluency was similar to that of an eight-year-old. DAS International recommended for T’s lessons to focus on equipping him with reading strategies. The customized, one-on-one lesson was conducted in English with the support of graphics, visual prompts, and educational technology integration for digital literacy and the latest critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

After the program, T was able to read with the fluency of a nine-year-old. He was able to read and recognize more words and showed an overall improvement in reading comprehension. He was also equipped with strategies to learn independently moving forward.

It is estimated that 10 percent of any population has dyslexia, and four percent severe enough to warrant intervention. It is also estimated that more than 50 percent of students with dyslexia have other co-occurring difficulties such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and maths difficulties (dyscalculia).

Some signs to look out for include:
• Poor grades
• Strong unwillingness to attend school
• Disruptive in class
• Making excuses for behavior
• Developing an ‘I give up’ attitude
• Refusal to communicate with parents and/or teachers
• Social difficulties – e.g. making friends or interacting with people

Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen, the Head of DAS International, advises, “If you think your child has a learning difference, it is essential to get them assessed by a professional. Early identification is important, and research has shown that timely specialist help can remediate, plug the gaps in learning, and ensure underlying difficulties can be supported.”

More students around the world like T are benefiting from specialist tutoring by DAS International as lessons are delivered online.

World Dyslexia Awareness Week (WDAW) 2020
In conjunction with WDAW 2020 in Singapore, DAS International hosted a free online webinar session for parents and teachers around the world on 5 October 2020. The international online forum discussed how different countries are supporting children with dyslexia and also featured a Q&A with the experts. Watch the recording here:

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