Forum: Early detection of dyslexia crucial for children and their parents

In response to recent articles (The extra burden for parents taking care of children with special needs, Feb 7; and Call to strengthen support for students with special needs and their parents, Feb 14), we would like to highlight the challenges faced by parents in raising children with dyslexia and other specific learning differences.

Many parents whom we work with experience practical difficulties in meeting their child's special educational needs, including having to spend extended hours daily on coaching for school work.

The need to enrol their children in learning support programmes and enrichment classes also often takes a financial toll.

Despite their efforts, some parents may not see their child making significant academic progress, making them feel frustrated and helpless.

Secondary issues of dyslexia, including attention deficit, low self-esteem and task avoidance, make their work even more challenging. They are also stressed about their child's future career prospects.

It is normal for these parents to feel physically and emotionally drained.

Early detection is crucial in empowering both children and their parents. Being aware of what the learning difficulty entails and why their child has persistent literacy development issues and makes poor academic progress alleviates these parents' frustrations and confusion.

Early intervention can also help parents better identify their child's learning needs and provide them with appropriate classroom support and targeted interventions. Early support can create a better learning experience and strengthen the ability to cope with growing academic demands.

Recognising the effort required to raise a child with learning differences, the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) provides parents with access to workshops and focus groups.

This gives them an avenue to learn and share resources with other parents. The DAS Academy also provides guidance and support on how parents can help their children at home.

It is not an easy journey for children with special educational needs and their parents. We hope that the traction gained on this topic can inspire more members of the community to lend greater support to these families.

Kathleen Chan

Senior Psychologist

Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.