CHENNAI: One crispee fryd squinach w/corn and grap soba. This is how a menu card at Dyslexia Cafe would read. The 25-year-old Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) along with Writer’s Cafe has come up with an objective to bring empathy towards the kids with this learning disability. Until next month, the cafe will have two special trainers to answer queries regarding dyslexia.
“We are working on a low-cost intervention programme for empowering teachers about dyslexia. Each session will educate about 40 teachers, thereby causing a ripple effect to over 4,000 teachers. There will also be a digital programme. We are working on it with IIT Madras,” said D Chandrasekar, president, MDA.
The inaugural event was attended by social activists and actresses Khushbu and Suhasini Maniratnam, and Madras Midtown Ladies Circle 7. An awareness talk was given by Harini Mohan, special educator, MDA. “These kids are special; not lazy.
The way they consume information is like the rest of us. But the output differs based on what and how much they have processed. Instead of pressuring them further, we must look at alternate methods to make things easier for them,” she said. Khushbu added, “As parents, we must have the heart to accept our child. Only then we can expect the same from society. Most of the problems are a result of self-denial and social stigma.”
According to MDA, in Tamil Nadu alone two million students are said to be dyslexic. Kids with dyslexia are actively right-brained. They are good at visual thinking, problem-solving and creative. Even famous personalities like Pablo Picasso, and Steve Jobs were dyslexic. “We have to identify the positives. And we are also working towards sensitising as many teachers as possible,” shared Harini. As part of the initiative, there will be a puppet show on April 20 and a book reading session on April 27.