KUALA LUMPUR — Implementation of the Movement Control Order to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection has given space for parents to be with their children especially those with learning problems, such as dyslexia.
For parents with dyslexic children, this is the most opportune time for them to help their children to improve their weaknesses and become better students.
A senior lecturer at the Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Dr. Hafiza Abas, who is an expert in dyslexia, said dyslexia is a learning problem, specifically in reading, writing and speaking.
“Nonetheless the difficulty in reading is different from one dyslexic child to another. They have difficulty in processing the form of alphabet to sound, combining sound with syllable and combining syllable into a word and arranging words into a sentence and forming an essay,” she said at a forum organised by the Malaysian Muslim Scientists Association (Perintis) which was aired via the association’s Facebook site yesterday.
According to Hafiza, the condition is due to the failure of the left back hemisphere of the brain system to function well during the process of reading.
Nonetheless, she said, the cognitive level of dyslexic children is normal.
“In fact, they maybe smarter than normal children because of their high visual and creative intelligence,” said Hafiza, who started getting interested in studying the problems of dyslexic children after choosing them as the subject for her doctorate thesis on learning using augmented reality.
Hafiza, who is also a Perintis committee member, advised parents to create a cheerful learning environment and help their children with activities to assist them in overcoming their learning problems, like ball tossing, playing with clay, making origami and playing lego to deal with fine motor problems.
“To deal with writing problems and how to hold a pencil, make short squares, curved lines and write letters by connecting the dots. Next, teach them to copy letters and words by observation, without the help of dots.
“For speech problems, repetition techniques, doll play, poetry and short story reading can also be used,” she added.
Hafiza has produced two books, “Panduan Guru: Program Khas Integrasi Masalah Pembelajaran Disleksia KSSR Tahap 1 Bahasa Melayu & Dunia Sains Dan Teknologi” (Teacher’s Guide: KSSR Special Learning Disorders Integration Programme level 1 Malay Language & World of Science and Technology) and “Program Khas Integrasi Masalah Pembelajaran Spesifik Disleksia Bahasa Melayu” (Special integrated programme on Dyslexia Learning Disabilities for Malay Language).
To follow the forum, go to https://www.facebook.com/SaintisMuslim/live_videos/