Blinded by the lights of technology and a world racing ahead with new inventions, how many of us count the stars, find the constellations, watch the moon or simply contemplate the vastness of the heavens? The mysteries of the night, total blackness and the night creatures are no longer a major part of growing up.
Your child learns differently to other children and now what do you do?
When our children perform according to our expectations we glow with pride, try not to boast, pat ourselves on the back and generally feel so rewarded but what if our child is different?
Having raised a son who was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and having observed, firsthand, numerous children falling through the cracks during her time as a teacher, Craig was motivated to do something sustainable that caters to the needs of different learners
HILARY Craig hands me a sheet of paper and tells me to read the sentence: “god yzal eht revo spmuj xof nworb kciuq ehT”. Surely it’s one huge typo.
It doesn’t help when she continues to urge me to read it. I am confused and start to think I’m stupid. If this continues, I have no doubt I will become frustrated and angry that I cannot decipher what I suspect is an easy sentence. Craig is trying to help me understand what a child who learns things differently, goes through. The sentence reads: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
Hilary Craig, founder of Hils Learning Centre with a vast experience in education, recently launched her new book entitled Small Steps, Big Differences: A Toolkit for Parents of Children Who Fall through the Cracks to equip parents and caregivers with essential knowledge to help children with learning difficulties learn and succeed in life.
MASALAH pembelajaran lazimnya merujuk kepada kesukaran seorang kanak-kanak itu dalam aktiviti pembelajaran yang melibatkan kebolehan bertutur, mendengar, membaca, menulis, mengeja, memberi penjelasan atau penerangan, mengatur maklumat dan mengira
“As a teenager, my middle son said to me, ‘when I couldn’t read in class I felt stupid, but, when I was sent to a tutor and still couldn’t read, I knew I was stupid” reveals Hillary Craig.
At eight, Philip could not read. His parents were exasperated. Most children are able to rattle off a dozen different words from their favourite story books by the age of five, so why not their son?
His inability to read weighed on his parents’ minds, but it was years later before Hilary Craig realised that her parenting skills did little to help her now 40-year-old son Philip. It turned out that he had severe dyslexia but Craig could not help him overcome his problems.
When you speak to Hilary Craig you realise, very quickly, that you’re speaking to an expert. You realise that you’re speaking to someone with a very rare understanding of and sympathy for an education segment that is rarely allowed the attention it needs and deserves. The founder of Hils Learning Centre in Solaris Mont Kiara, Irish national Hilary is the go-to lady for special educational needs in Malaysia.
Every child differs individually – while some might be able to solve complicated math equations. the others might be better in writing. Children who can swim well, might not be able to dance as gracefully as the rest.They each have their own way to ace. However, for children with learning difficulties. such as Dyslexic. Dyscalculia (also known as math disability),Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their gifts are often suppressed, while being misunderstood and labelled as 0 slow learner, or a lazy student in school which lead them to further believe that they ore just not good enough.
THE joy of having a child is something special and shared by the whole family but what happens when you learn that your child has learning difficulties, is not able to attend school or refuses to pick up any books to read? It can be a daunting task trying to understand what is wrong with your child and in Asian communities where even the learning environment is terribly competitive, having a child who is different can be daunting.
Tucked amidst the high rise apartment buildings and chic cafes of Solaris Mont Kiara, the Hils Learning Centre is a warm, lightfilled space where children with learning difficulties are nurtured and encouraged under the careful care of Hilary Craig.
There is a belief that school days should be the best of your life, a time when you can be carefree and happy. Learning should and can be fun, indeed, it frequently is but as a teacher myself I know that it can be difficult to engage every child in a classroom however much you try, frustratingly there are always one or two who however hard you try seem to slip through the net. If you feel your child might not be doing as well at school as they might and are not happy, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was to know that there is help, right here in KL (Mont Klara, in fact).
I arrived in KL in 1997; my husband Victor was working as an airport planner for KL International Airport (KLIA), and I was a teacher at an international school. After five years at the school, I started doing freelance teacher training in the city and all around the region. My clients began asking me to help their kids with learning challenges, ranging from dyslexia to Asperger’s syndrome.
“I am twenty-five years old and I can’t tell time. I struggle with dialling phone numbers, counting money, balancing my cheque book, tipping at restaurants, following directions, understanding distances, and applying basic math to my everyday life…I have been diagnosed with dyscalculia.”
We hear the term dyslexic and we know it has something to do with difficulty with print and language. Our children may be defined as dyslexic and have problems with spelling, reading, writing, organisation, numbers or sequence. So, what is it like to be dyslexic? Like the individuality of each human, it is enormously varied and presents differently in every person who is dyslexic. For one person the decoding of words for reading is the problem. For another the decoding is easy but comprehension is missing. The physical task of writing is hard for some and for others spelling correctly is the difficult part.