We are continuing to appeal to our readers and visitors to donate to our work of running two centres. The annual budget is RM120,000 (USD38,000) for 2014 and 2015 and will grow higher as we recruit more staff and take in additional trainees.

Please make payment to 'Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan' with your name and address on a cover slip so we can mail you our official receipt. All donations from April 1 2011 will be exempted from taxation by the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. Please send the payment to:

The Treasurer, Persatuan Berdikari Seremban Negeri Sembilan, 381, Jalan Kenanga 1, Taman Bukit Chedang, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Government Asked to Help Learning Disabled

The Star in its today's edition under 'Friday Reflections' by B.K. Sidhu (Page B2, StarBiz News) appealed to the government to pay more attention to the learning disabled by providing a bigger budget to help them acquire specialised education to overcome, or at least reduce their disabilities that they may develop useful careers. She asked the education minister to 'not miss an important chapter which involves children with learning disabilities and special children.'

She said that 'a child with learning disabilities who is nurtured in the right environment can be a winner'. She gave the examples of Bill Gates and Richard Branson who were diagnosed with dyslexia but they are successful businessmen. Similarly Tom Cruise and Whoppi Goldberg have also done very well in their acting careers.

Sidhu explains that often children with mild dyslexia and Down syndrome are lumped together under learning disabilities, which should be segregated. According to Dr Aili Hanim Hashim, consultant psychiatrist from Universiti Malaya, children with mild learning disabilities can be in normal classrooms.

Sidhu felt that kids with learning disabilities, such as those with mild dyslexia, slow learners, hyperactive and mild intellectual impairment, should be in normal schools but, even if they are there, are often marginalised simply because of the lack of awareness in handling them. As such the government should revamp the education system to make learning disability a priority.

The private sector can also help as part of its corporate responsibility work.

B.K. Sidhu is a deputy news editor of Star.

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