What is Madras Dyslexia Association?
Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Chennai. It helps children with specific learning disabilities, their parents, and teachers.
Their vision is to create a “Dyslexia Sensitive” society. A society that identifies and nurtures children with Dyslexia to reach their potential so that they can function and thrive independently.
Likewise, their mission is to be a hub that provides resources, networking, training for professionals and organisations involved in the different stages of the management of dyslexia through in-house and outreach services.
Ravichandran Ashwin an Indian international cricketer who was born in Chennai is the goodwill ambassador of this association. His part is to help MDA promote the inclusive education for dyslexic children.
In 1991 there was little awareness and almost no help for children with dyslexia. So a group of parents of children with dyslexia, educationist empathic to the cause and philanthropist founded MDA in 1992. MDA has been functioning for the last two decades. It provides remedial help and support to children with their parents as well as spreading awareness in the community at large.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder. It is a neurological condition. People having dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. It is a life-long condition and is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. Although it is most evident when the child starts to read, write, spell, and do maths, it affects all the areas of one’s life such as social interaction and self-esteem. There is no cure for dyslexia but with proper instructions and support, it is manageable.
A person with dyslexia has average, and in many cases above average intelligence. They have difficulties in academic but are talented in many other areas. Dyslexia are unique, each having their individual strengths and weaknesses.
What is MDA doing?
MDA use various methods and techniques to help children adjust. they also make them perform various activities that help them with their learning techniques.
They have resource room for children with specific learning difficulties who require help are given skill building remediation within the school premises itself. Also, they believe in boosting a child’s morale and confidence. They reach out to different schools and are presently set up in 29 schools across Chennai. These centers are capable of screening children, making individual education programs and lesson plans.
They have full-time remediation center for children who need a pull out program. It’s called Ananya. It consists of Yoga dramatics counseling and many other activities.
All this is looked after by the teachers who are special educators staff who understand how to deal with every child.
MDA is committed to spreading awareness of the prevalence of dyslexia in all walks of society and among all age groups. For this, they give awareness talk in corporate offices, workshops for schools, talk at clubs/forums, seminars, flash mobs, collaboration with rotary clubs and other social services organization.
Special training for teachers
MDA provide teachers with special training for which they have Intensive teacher training course, Basic teacher training course for mainstream teachers, therapists and counselors. This course helps to Identify a child with dyslexia, able to refer the child to the appropriate kind of help, help the child within the classroom, provide the child some accommodations in the classroom.
Teaching children with dyslexia is different from teaching children are in regular schools. So they have conceptualized different types of training.
Dyslexia is more common than you can imagine. But their way of thinking is not common like us. They are more creative and intelligent than we are. Even Albert Einstein’s teacher told him that he was mentally slow, unsociable and adrift in his foolish dreams. But today we all know who he is, right? We should never underestimate anyone because everyone is not the same. This world is made up of different colours and not everyone is made for the rat race.
We need more associations like MDA in our society. So that more people get to know and they help raise awareness and take necessary steps for the betterment of the children with special needs. So that we don’t neglect or underestimate our child on the basis of their abilities.