ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The number of people officially diagnosed with dyslexia in Turkey stands at 41,600, according to the head of Turkey’s Dyslexia Association, Atıf Tokar, who said people should see dyslexia as a “difference in learning,” not “a disorder.”
Tokar told Anadolu Agency that many children with dyslexia could compensate for their reading struggle with other abilities such as their strong photographic memory.
“Such abilities of dyslexic individuals have not yet attracted attention in Turkey. But, in the United States, Israel
and Iran, if the individual has been diagnosed, [the countries] will immediately take them into special training,” he said.
Emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis in dyslexic children, Tokar said the primary-school students suffering from dyslexia could stay behind their peers if they were not diagnosed. He pointed out that 82 percent of children in Turkey with dyslexia left school after seventh grade.
“It is especially the letters ‘b’ and ‘d’ that children [with dyslexia] reverse while writing. When teachers see this, they should immediately pay attention. If the child falls behind in reading compared to their peers, the family should immediately visit children’s psychiatry services,” Tokar said.
Indicating that the Turkish Dyslexia Association helps families free of charge, he said: “The child should receive an official diagnosis. It is sufficient for the doctors to direct the family toward counselling and research centers.”