SINGAPORE, 1 OCTOBER 2018 – In commemoration of World Dyslexia Awareness Week (WDAW), the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) today kick started a week-long series of activities to increase awareness and support for children with dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences (SpLD’s). WDAW 2018 aims to direct the public’s attention to the strengths and talents of people with dyslexia instead of it as a learning difference.
“Dys is Talent – people with dyslexia are brilliant in their own ways. But the lack of awareness of dyslexia means that they are often perceived as stupid or not trying hard enough. Through WDAW, DAS aims to help our community not just understand the challenges faced by people with dyslexia, but embrace their strengths and help them fulfil their potential,” said Mr. Lee Siang, CEO of DAS.
It is estimated that there are 23,000 students from preschools to secondary schools in Singapore with dyslexia severe enough to warrant intervention; and about half of these children may experience comorbid disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Language Impairment, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
During WDAW, the public can discover the creativity of children with dyslexia at the DAS Talent Exhibition showcasing students’ artwork pieces at ONEPEOPLE SG @ BRADDELL on 4 October; or through a Facebook photo/video event on the many talents of people with dyslexia on the official WDAW page.
Parents who think that their children are at risk of dyslexia or other SpLD’s can sign up for the free screening for children aged six to 12 years old at ONEPEOPLE SG @ BRADDELL on 4 October; or acquire helpful exam and study skills at a tips-sharing session by DAS Academy lecturers at Rex House on 6 October. WDAW will also feature the Coffee Morning @ DAS International session on 2 October at Rex House whereby experts will provide tips to parents of children studying in international schools facing learning difficulties.
Another event highlight at WDAW is the Seminar on Dyslexia and other SpLD’s on 4 October, targeted at parents and special educational needs professionals. The seminar will focus on the assessments of dyslexia and other SpLD’s and their intervention strategies.
For parents of children already studying at DAS, they can show their support towards their children by taking part in the DAS Learning Centre Dress-Up activity on 5 October.
DAS parents can also increase their participation in their children’s learning journey by understanding different support group strategies at the DAS Parents Support Group Meeting on 3 October at Rex House. To be held in collaboration with the Register of Educational Therapists (Asia),
the meeting will discuss support strategies for children with dyslexia and other SpLD’s using unique case studies and solutions.
“For parents of children with dyslexia and other SpLD’s, the struggles in managing their needs and understanding their behaviour could be quite overwhelming. I hope that through this meeting, parents can take home new ideas and strategies when dealing with their children and know they do not need to struggle alone on this journey,” said Ms. Tina Tan, Guest Speaker and Vice-President of the Society for Promotion of ADHD Research and Knowledge (SPARK).
Launch of ‘DARE TO DREAM’ fundraising campaign
To support students with dyslexia from low-income families in getting the required educational support, about 4,000 DAS staff, students and parents have come together to raise funds through the ‘DARE TO DREAM’ pledge card campaign. Currently, more than half of 3,500 DAS students rely on bursaries to access the Main Literacy Programme and Specialised Educational Services; and DAS needs to raise over S$1 million annually to support these children.
Members of the public can also contribute to financial support for needy children with dyslexia by purchasing selected student artworks at the DAS Talent Exhibition at ONEPEOPLE.SG @ Braddell on 4 October; or online at: https://www.giving.sg/dyslexia-association-of-singapore.
DAS hopes to raise $100,000 through the above efforts.
Most activities at WDAW are free and open to public. To register or check out the full list of activities, visit https://www.das.org.sg/news-events/das-events/world-dyslexia-awareness-week-2018.html.
Other international organisations holding activities in their own countries during WDAW include British Dyslexia Association, International Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Organisation Kenya and Maharashtra Dyslexia Association.
Registered ® in 1991, the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) is today a vibrant voluntary welfare organisation with over 250 full-time staff who provide a wide array of services for dyslexics in Singapore. DAS Educational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Specialist Psychologists provide support for over 3,500 preschool, primary and secondary school students in 14 centres all over Singapore. DAS also teaches in five PCF
DAS recognises that children with dyslexia and Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) require a comprehensive and holistic range of programmes and services. SpLD Assessment Services, the DAS assessment arm, conducts assessments in areas such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), school readiness and many more.
The Main Literacy Programme at DAS supports over 3,000 students and provides critical intervention in areas such as reading fluency and comprehension, spelling and writing. Besides the main literacy programme, DAS, through its Specialised Educational Services (SES) Division, also offers support in Mathematics, Chinese, English Exam Skills and Science. Through SES, DAS now offers programmes in non-academic pursuits such as Speech and Drama and Art ventures.
Increasingly, DAS will provide support for dyslexics who are also impacted by other SpLDs such as ADHD, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and non-verbal learning differences. Additionally, young adults in Institutes of Higher Learning are able to access assessment and specialist tutoring services.
The DAS training arm, DAS Academy, provides diploma and masters level courses for the professional development of special needs and mainstream teachers and other educational professionals.