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My Son Attends The Dyslexia Association Of Malaysia (Even Though He’s Not Dyslexic)
Eight months ago in December 2015, Ayub was diagnosed with dyslexia at Hospital Putrajaya. I now think the diagnosis is wrong, but that’s a whole other story… Anyway we were referred to the Dyslexia Association of Malaysia to follow up on Ayub. The hospital psychologist was lovely but had no further information on the association other than it dealt with dyslexic kids.
I found their contact number online, gave them a call, was given a cellphone number, and told to call to make an appointment to have Ayub assessed.
Joining the Dyslexia Association of Malaysia
The assessment was at their HQ in Jalan Ampang. As I recall it took around 1 hour; Ayub was alone with the teacher. He had to do a little test: maths, BM and english. Some puzzle solving. Nothing stressful. The teacher was very patient and kind. After which the teacher went through his results with us. Ayub was found to have mild to moderate dyslexia.
Following the assessment, it was recommended that Ayub attend the centre from Monday to Friday for three months. The centre provided a letter to be given to his school, explaining the situation and asking that he be exempted for the three months. (Unfortunately, the local school where Ayub was enrolled rejected the letter and he was forced to attend the local school.)
It’s been 7 months now. He used to attend local school and then the dyslexia centre on Saturday mornings. But we recently took him out of local school to go to the centre from Monday to Friday. (Ayub’s doctor at HKL gave him a 3-month MC to excuse him from school).
I highly recommend the centre for any kiddies facing difficulties at school
I love the centre. I think it’s wonderful. Prior to joining, Ayub could only recognize the alphabet. The concept of reading was beyond him. He just couldn’t understand that each letter had a sound, and that when put together, these sounds formed a word. Happy to report that Ayub can now read! He still struggles with unfamiliar words. But on the whole, his reading and comprehension has made leaps and bounds. I believe he’s on par with his peers (some of whom are still unable to read and are not dyslexic). His maths has never been much a problem, but he was falling behind quite severely in local school. Now he’s back to being awesome at numbers.
What I really love about the centre is that they put a lot of emphasis on building the child’s self-esteem and confidence. It’s ok if you get the answer wrong, we will show you how to get it right – that kind of thing. They use a lot of images, play games, make learning fun and easy. Ayub looks forward to school now, rather than dreading it previously.
Building Self-Esteem Through Fun
The association also has plenty of field trips and extra activities for the kids on a monthly basis.
To date, Ayub has been to Kidzania, Sunway Lagoon, had a sports day with all the other dyslexia centres around Malaysia, had a song and dance performance day, and been to a field trip to the Bukit Kiara park. They also regularly have training workshops for parents to attend, to learn how to help their dyslexic child.
The only negative I would say is that their organizational skills are slightly lacking when it comes to their events. But I can understand, with so many branches taking part, daily school going on, it’s hard for the teachers to really sit down with one another and plan out the events. I mean, there’s no event coordinator. The teachers deal with all the admin stuff themselves. It’s a lot. They definitely put in 100% of themselves at all times. I am very grateful for them.
While I don’t believe Ayub is dyslexic, I’m hesitant to put him back in local school for a host of reasons. He’s so comfortable and happy in the centre. The classes are small, only around 4 or 5 children per teacher. And they are sorted by ability rather than age. Ayub is in the advanced class.
For any parents who have a child they suspect may have a learning disability or is generally struggling in school, I recommend the dyslexia association. But do take note that they only focus on three subjects: Maths, English, and Bahasa Malaysia. The purpose of the centre is to give the kids intensive training in reading and arithmetic, but catered to their special dyslexic needs.
It’s meant to only be a temporary solution (typically 3 months), until the teachers feel the child is able to go back to mainstream education. That being said, I’ve seen a number of special needs kids (mentally handicapped) who also attend the centre on a daily basis. If I’m not mistaken, these special babies will remain in the centre as their primary source of formal education, and not attend another school. Obviously it all depends on the individual.
Dyslexia Association of Malaysia / Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia (HQ) Location:
353, 349, Jalan Ampang, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact: +60 3-4265 1632
Morning session – 8.30am-12.30pm
Afternoon session – 1pm-5pm
+ Saturday sessions – 9am – 12pm
You can also ask for extra tuition in certain areas or iqra’ classes. I think it depends on which branch you’re at, but on the whole all the teachers are incredibly helpful and willing to put in extra hours for the kids.
I can’t remember how much the enrollment fee was… Probably around RM1,000 (but I’m really not sure!) Monthly fees for Monday-Friday school is RM550/month, Saturday-only is RM200/month.
Some field trips are fully sponsored, others will require parents to pay (but not much, usually around RM10 only)
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!