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Dubai to host meet on learning difficulties.

A conference shedding light on the complex nature of learning difficulties -- with a special focus on three dominant areas -- is to be hosted in Dubai next month.

The 7th GCC Learning Disability Conference will be hosted under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Education, and will run on November 13 and 14.

The conference is designed to address the interwoven, interconnected nature of learning difficulties with special focus on reading, motor coordination, and mathematics.

Mlainain Salama, Director of Ishara Consultants -- the event organiser -- said a specific learning difficulty is uniquely different for each person.

Specific characteristics

Although research has established specific characteristics to help define what constitutes a learning difficulty, individuals use a variety of different coping mechanisms and bring their own learning styles into play to try and cope with their condition.

"Overcoming a learning difficulty is a lifelong journey of learning and adaptation. A person with a learning difficulty may struggle in one area or many areas such as reading, spelling, writing or mathematics," he said.

The two-day conference will discuss three significant topics namely Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Difficulty or Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.

Neil MacKay, MEd, DipSpEd, AMBDA, UK will deliver a paper on Dyslexia at the event. UK research suggests that an over-emphasis on reading accuracy can have a negative impact on comprehension. This presentation will show how to support students with weak decoding to make full use of contextual clues in passages and questions.

Individuals with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) often have difficulty performing tasks that involve both large and small muscles, including forming letters when they write, throwing or catching balls, and performing other movements. Prof. Amanda Kirby, MBBS MRCGP PhD, will be presenting the topic at the conference.

Five to six per cent of children have been shown to have DCD. In the context of the international criteria from DSMV and a European consensus for DCD, this presentation will highlight the latest knowledge in the field of DCD.

Professor Steve Chinn, BSc, PhD, Dip Ed Man, AMBDA will present on the subject of dyscalculia. These individuals have difficulty understanding and using math concepts and symbols, with mathematics a subject that can create debilitating anxiety for sufferers.

Wide participation is expected from all categories of the society such as counsellors, social workers, teachers, parents, researchers, educators, specialists, developers, technology coordinators, medical and mental health professionals, policy advocates and support personnel, adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and parents of children with learning disabilities.

The event will be held in Crowne Plaza Hotel, Deira, Dubai and participants can register at; by emailing; or by calling +971 4 2955581.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Oct 29, 2013
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