KUWAIT, Jan 28 (KUNA) — Kuwait Dyslexia Association celebrates its 19-year anniversary on Thursday having brought hope to hundreds of thousands of people in Kuwait and the wider Arab region.
The association is the first of its kind in the Arab region, and was formed after its chairman Mohammad Al-Qatami failed to find specialists in Kuwait able to determine or cure his son’s learning and reading difficulties.
“After much investigation and a trip to the United Kingdom, I learned of the condition called dyslexia for the first time. It was then that I decided to put my son through treatment which proved successful.
That summed up his decision to conduct a Masters degree paper on the subject followed by the formation of the KDA using the knowledge he had obtained in order to offer a helping hand to other struggling families in Kuwait.
At that time, Al-Qatami said, the Arab region was oblivious to this condition and after humble beginnings in Kuwait his mission later assumed the more ambitious goal of its regional neighbours.
KDA was launched with state funding from the local Patients’ Support Fund, the Ministry of Education and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, enabling it to later build its own main local office.
The association has managed to pinpoint some 300,000 people, including 50,000 children, affected with the condition across Kuwait. After its success on the local scale, the association went on to form similar initiatives across the Arab world – the most successful of which was in Egypt, in cooperation with the United Nations.
Recent success stories include a PC program that enables families to determine whether their children are affected with dyslexia, and a website which offers in-depth knowledge and background on the condition to thousands across 100 countries in Arabia and the Middle East.
Others include an approved proposal to create “dyslexia-friendly” sections within government-established schools in Kuwait, and a study into pupils affected with reading difficulties in Kuwait.
The study has showcased an astonishing 12 percent amongst boys and 10 percent amongst girls.
About diagnosis, he said, that this would typically be carried out by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Tests would reveal whether the condition is physiological or psychological, and based on this treatment would be prescribed.
With its widespread regional success comes international ambitions as Al-Qatami hopes to transport the body’s experience to the outside world starting with the creation of a dyslexia diagnosis smartphone app.