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Few people in Singapore would have heard of dyslexia, which affects how a person reads and writes, if not for founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who was dyslexic.
But, with growing awareness of the condition over the years, more people are seeking help for it. Last year, a record 3, students enrolled in the Dyslexia Association of Singapore's DAS main literacy programme - run at its 13 centres - up from 2, in The programme, co-funded by the Ministry of Education MOEaims to improve students' reading, comprehension and writing skills, and help them differentiate between phonemes, or sound units.
DAS, which marks its 25th anniversary this year, has been helping a rising number of students across all ages in recent years. About pre-school children sought help last year, thrice the 89 in DAS will also start a programme later this year for post-secondary dyslexic students. These students will have support from a pool of 30 DAS alumni who will be their mentors and buddies.
Besides the main literacy course, other DAS courses have also seen more participants signing up. The mathematics classes, for instance, had students last year, up from 90 in And its speech and drama arts sessions drew 46 students last year, double that in DAS expects student numbers to grow at about 10 per cent from this year, in line with growing awareness of dyslexia.
People with dyslexia have difficulty reading, writing and spelling. The condition ranges from mild to severe forms and often occurs alongside other learning disabilities such as attention deficit disorder.
DAS chief executive officer Lee Siang said global figures show 4 per cent of each cohort of students suffer from dyslexia in a severe enough form to warrant intervention. This means 23, primary and secondary school students here are estimated to have the condition. DAS assessed more than students in each of the past three years, about two-thirds of whom were diagnosed with dsylexia.
To meet demand, DAS has hired more educational therapists and speech and learning therapists.
It has of them now, and is looking to recruit more teachers. He hopes to tap the insights of the IDA, as well as its 24 partner associations, for novel ways to support people with dyslexia.
It is expected to be extended to all primary schools this year. Mr Lee Hong Ping, 46, said his Primary 5 daughter, diagnosed with dyslexia at six, is doing better in school after joining DAS' classes.
Early intervention is key, he said. Print Edition Subscribe Topics:Get new skills for a digital world Grow your career or business at your own pace, with flexible and personalised training courses designed to build your confidence and help you thrive.
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